An Update from Margie, January 2017
As Margie Randall continues to serve refugee families in the Houston area, she has opportunity to become deeply involved in their journey. Here, Margie tells a part of P's journey.
P. came to America from the Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal where she had lived for 19 years. Life in the camp was hard, but there was no responsibility for her except to find food and cook for her family. Like most of the refugees, the family chose to pay money ($1500 per person) to come to America for the chance of education and a better life.
But life would prove to be difficult in their new country. P. lost one eye as a child and was never educated. Her husband worked manual labor jobs in Bhutan and Nepal and also was not educated. Neither of them spoke English. They were allowed to pay back their loan to IOM to come to America over a three year period.
In 2009 there were not many jobs in Houston that were entry level and did not require education and English or Spanish. The family had 5 children to support who were all school age. But P. and her husband were survivors. P. began digging in dumpsters for aluminum cans to recycle. She walked miles each day to various apartment complexes and dug through the trash which was very dangerous. Her husband finally received a job polishing shoes at Men's Wearhouse. Though they had very little, they always were generous with whatever they had.
Thanks to Texas Baptists for giving to the Texas Baptist Hunger Relief Offering. (give)
P. finally received a small disability check which paid the rent and sometimes they were eligible for free electricity programs. The couple persevered under the harshest circumstances through with the help of Loaves & Fishes and government programs.
When P. became pregnant again, she lost her baby, and she wailed for days. I know; I was with her. Then, she became pregnant again and told me she planned to have an abortion. I told her "please don't do that, I will help you." Her son now 4 years old is a delight and through the generosity of God's people he is alive and well. He is also very fluent in English and very smart.
Three of P.'s children have graduated high school and are either working or going to college or both. In the Bhutanese community last year I was told only 2 of about 22 students finished high school. P.'s children finished school without the help of her or her husband because they can neither read or write English.
Let's fast forward to the past two weeks. P. now struggles with diabetes and is insulin dependent. She learned last week that her liver is enlarged and she will be seeing the doctor for a follow up visit soon. Her young son is also overweight and wears a size 6-7 at age 4. The family has had their food stamp money reduced to $250 per month (for a family of 5) because two of the older children were working, but now only one is working and going to college. One recently married and will be moving to Pennsylvania soon to find work there and support his family (every time you get a job, your food stamps are cut and then there is a thirty day lapse to reapply if you are fired or quit the job).
Proper food for diabetics is very expensive. Because of the generosity of Texas Baptists and others, I was able to take P. shopping for vegetables and meat (which is so expensive but needed ) this month. We shopped at the local Asian market where she could find vegetables that she is familiar with and that the family will eat (it is also cheaper). The cost for this family of 7 was a little over $200.
Please pray for P. to be healed of whatever caused her liver to be enlarged. Praise God for the generosity of God's people that enable me to be the hands and feet of Jesus for this family that are all believers.
email Margie www.4loavesfishes.org
Continue to pray for Margie as ministry continues to the refugee community in Houston. If you can volunteer or donate, contact Margie by email.
"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full" Proverbs 19:17