A look back — and to the future

In September 2008, I saw the needs of refugees arriving in the Houston area. Having lived overseas for several years, I knew how frustrating it is to try to learn a new language and a new culture, so I quit my job in December 2008 and began trying to meet the needs of Bhutanese refugees arriving in the city from the back of my SUV. I had no previous knowledge of their culture, the story of their persecution or why they came to America, but I sought to meet practical needs and love them as God had laid on my heart.

I’d be the first to admit that I made a lot of mistakes that first year, but God blessed me anyway. The friendships I formed and the people I have grown to love will forever be in my heart. A local management company gave us an apartment and set up a donation room so newly arriving refugees could shop for what they needed. Eventually, Kids’ Club began and now has expanded to Saturdays and Sundays. 

But in 2014, Bhutanese refugees began leaving Houston and moving to other cities to join families. My heart was broken because I knew I’d miss them and their children I had grown to love for more than five years. I saw them come to the city speaking little or no English, secure jobs and then become U.S. citizens. Some have even purchased homes in the Houston area. 

As I prayed, ‘Lord, now what?’ I met refugees from other countries who also needed help with practical needs and help navigating our culture. The ministry has now expanded to three apartment complexes where we offer English classes. The vision for the future includes computer training as God provides volunteers with those teaching skills. People from all nations have arrived in Houston. Perhaps there is something you could offer the refugees: Teaching classes? Inviting a family to your home for the holidays? Opportunities abound. The nations are here. Will you answer the call?

Love,
Margie

 
 
Dear praying friends and supporters,
Words cannot express my gratitude for each one of you who have either prayed, served, or given to make this ministry what God wants it to be.  It is more evident to me than ever before that He wants to provide for "the least of these" and it is such an honor to be in His service and watch Him at work through each of you.

This ministry could not exist without the many hands and feet that volunteer each week or once per year or once per month to serve Him.  I feel so honored to meet so many brothers and sisters in Christ who are different in ethnicity and maybe denomination, but one in Christ.  As I get to know each one of you personally, I am just in awe of how God knows exactly what the ministry needs when He calls you, and your being a part of His work is not an accident. 

October was a blessed month As Ruben and the Woodlands Creative Arts ministry came to do mime drama and share their testimonies.  Those young people are the best and so much fun to work with (Ruben agrees). We also were blessed with hearing so many children from non Christian homes profess to follow Jesus.   

And, all of the triplets came home from St. Joseph's NICU. They are doing well, but it may take me a while to learn their names and which one is which. They look the same.  Pray for Ashwin, though, who may have a hernia.

November has been blessed as well.  Ellie with Clothed by Faith brought brand new warm coats to the kids and was it ever timely!!  If you live in Houston, you know we had an early winter.  I just smiled as I thought about the kids putting on their new warm coats to go to school when the temps were in the 30s.  

But, November is not over.  We still have a Thanksgiving Celebration coming on the 29th.  A group of volunteers from Kingsland Baptist is coming with full thanksgiving meals for the residents at St. Cloud.  This is a first and since there are 25 nationalities there, it will be interesting to see their response.  I have asked them to bring an ethnic dish as well, so it will be interesting to see what we are given to taste.  The true story of Thanksgiving will be read and a prayer offered for the food.  This is special to me since I am told my great grandmother was American Indian and my grandparents on my dad's side came over from Scotland (not on the Mayflower).  My kids used to think I came over on the Mayflower-NOT!! I am only 68!

December will be another special month. Three Christmas events are planned for the kids-another first.  On December 13th, we will take the kids to Second Baptist West campus for a free puppet show and then treat them to Mc Donalds.  On December 20th, the Trinity Mar Thoma church (the first church of India planted by St. Thomas) will take the kids to the church for a drama presentation, gifts and a meal.  Then, on December 21st or 19th, the kids have been invited to go to Second Baptist Woodway to see the Christmas production and then eat out. 

In all of the future activities. please pray that Jesus is glorified (it is after all His birthday),  that the children are safe and we are safe as we travel about, that God will grant the children ears to hear and hearts to respond, and that He will direct the path of all who are doing the planning. 

Thank you for taking time to read all of this. Whew! It is a lot. Thank you in advance for praying.  

Thank you all who from FBC Katy for the new underwear and socks. Thank you moms who give your gently used kids clothing and shoes.  Thank you servants for your time.

Can't close without a needs list.  My friend Pam Garcia (now with Jesus) said she always got excited when she saw the needs list
VOLUNTEERS:
Volunteers needed for ESL program on Monday (one hour)
Volunteers needed to chauffer children on the 13th of December. We usually have about 18 and my van only holds 5.  We will need to leave home and arrive at St. Cloud about 10 am. on Saturday, the 13th.  The puppet show lasts about 45 minutes, then we will go to Mc Donalds and should be back at St. Cloud by 2 pm.
STUFF:
Gently used kids clothing all ages, but primarily elementary age. Gently used sport shoes for kids sizes 1-6 . Any men's shoe sizes 7-9, and women's shoe sizes 5-8 (no spiked heels)
Target diapers sizes 3-6
Toothpaste and tooth brushes
Gift cards to Fiesta, and Payless shoes
Cash for sundries

Love to all,
Margie Randall
www.4loavesfishes.org