From time to time people ask me if there is any group resettling refugees without getting paid by the US taxpayer for their “charitable” work. Well, yes, here is one, Christian Freedom International— CFI not only helps refugees in camps in Thailand but puts its prayers, volunteers and private money to work helping refugees resettle and assimilate to a life in America.
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (Christian Freedom International) — Miraculous. It’s the only word I can think of to describe what’s going on here in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
When I say “miraculous,” it’s not what you might think. There hasn’t been an outbreak of sudden, unexplained healings, nor have there been any sightings of angels walking among us here in the Soo.
Instead, the town has been quietly rejuvenated by a group of 14 families—over 50 men, women, and children—who have claimed for themselves a piece of the American dream while making a lasting impact on the small community they’ve learned to call “home.”
What’s so remarkable about these 14 families and the 8 children my wife and I have adopted? They’re Karen refugees from Burma.
Against the greatest of odds, these families have gone from struggling through a bleak existence in Thailand refugee camps to enjoying abundant freedom and opportunities in the United States.
In the recent months since they’ve relocated to Michigan, these refugees have found new homes, friends, and churches, and are happily thriving in ways that they never thought possible.
Volunteers are volunteers, the old fashioned type. There is no logging “volunteer” hours to be turned into the federal government for cold hard cash from the Match Grant Program.
Local volunteers have been a special blessing to the growing Karen community, as well. Several mentor families are teaching many of the refugees the basics of how to shop, pay bills, and manage their homes, and more than 25 volunteers hold English classes for the refugees three nights a week.
It looks like CFI is rescuing refugees that have been resettled by federal contractors in crime ridden cities.
Volunteer manpower has also been a tremendous help with the motel reconstruction, which is an especially important project that will offer clean, safe housing for new families—many of whom have been living in high crime, inner city neighborhoods since their resettlement in the United States.
Now, can you imagine there are actually groups resettling poor, scared refugees in high crime neighborhoods. It is almost impossible to believe. Who could be so cheap and heartless to do such a thing?