Partner with us at Faith that Works this holiday season to spread hope and love to the individuals and families we work with in our Somali and Hispanic Outreaches. Learn more about these programs and how you can make an impact by checking out the articles below from our December newsletter and our holiday giving page.
Support Somali immigrants and refugees in Ethiopia
Imagine being 17 years old and having to flee your home country, which has been torn by war and drought in recent years. Keep imagining as you see yourself fleeing to a new country where the residents can be hostile toward you. You find you have limited resources available to you such as education, clean water, Internet, and even food. Your family ends up in a small refugee neighborhood in a large city, and you find that you miss the place you grew up. Your future is uncertain, but you still possess dreams, as any 17-year-old might. You are young and intelligent, with great potential, yet it is not possible to go back to your country due to the poverty and danger. You dream that maybe you can gain the needed skills to be the change your people need. But who will help you? What are your options?
These are some of the uncertainties and conditions Somali refugees living in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa face as they try to make a life and home in a new country after leaving their homes in neighboring Somalia. Navigating a new culture, economy, and political environment presents daily challenges for these Somali people, but finding a supportive community can offer hope and make the transition easier.
For a number of Somali immigrants living in the Addis Ababa neighborhood of Sarris, hope and community have come through attending Faith that Works’ Somali Community Literacy Center (SCLC). This center, which offers education programs, documentation support, and other services, stands as a beacon of light to a people in need.
Some of the young men on the Somali Eagles team pose for a picture with peace signs
Somali people who attend the SCLC also have the chance to connect with others who are working for a better future, like the young Muslim men on the center’s youth soccer team, the Somali Eagles. The Somali boys who play on the soccer, or fútbol, team told us about their love for the sport on our recent trip to the SCLC in October. They also shared that they didn’t have uniforms or cleats for their team
This holiday season, we invite you to partner with us to show the love of Christ to these Somali youth in a practical way. We are working to equip each boy with his very own uniform and cleats for Christmas, an interesting opportunity since the players are Muslim. Our director, Terri, talked with the boys about this on her October visit to the SCLC:
As I stood in the converted shipping container where we hold classes at the SCLC, I explained to this group of boys, “I am a Christian, you are Muslim. In December we celebrate one of our holiest days, Christmas, in honor of Jesus’ birth. If Faith that Works gives you the gift of soccer gear, it will be in celebration of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the name above all names.” They laughed, and said, “You are very upfront. We like that.”
We need your help to provide proper fútbol gear, so let’s be “upfront” together and spread the love of Jesus to these Muslim youth. The uniforms will be given to the players by our Somali Christian leaders who work at the center, teaching our students who Jesus is this holiday season.
Visit our holiday giving page to learn how to sponsor a player.
Gaining Confidence and Community
Make an impact in the lives of Hispanic families in Chesterfield, MO
There is a small community in West County in the shadow of the Chesterfield Mall where you can see children playing outside, adults traveling to and from work or the store, and neighbors visiting one another. What makes this community unique from others in St. Louis County is that most of its residents are Hispanic immigrants. These residents love their families and neighbors and work hard for a better life, but often face challenges due to cultural divide, language barriers, and isolation. Faith that Works provides practical assistance to these residents through adult ESL classes, after-school tutoring, and youth programs. Through these programs, we’re working with residents and dedicated volunteers to break down obstacles to success and community, bringing friendship and hope where there has been fear.
We’re especially excited when community members share with us some of the things they are learning and experiencing. The following is a compilation of quotes from a few of the families we serve through our programs:
“We are learning how to help our children with homework and speak with their teachers. Small things like asking for help at the grocery store, learning how to navigate street directions, and asking a doctor questions, used to cause great anxiety, but now we feel confidence in these daily tasks. In addition, our children love attending the Faith that Works after-school program. Our entire family feels loved and accepted.
The assistance and friendship we experience has truly helped make this community home for us. We are working toward citizenship and consider St. Louis home. Many of our friends who have immigrated have asked how they too, can get this kind of help. Many feel isolated, judged, and afraid. We are blessed that our experience has been enriched through the help of this great organization.”
We are also excited to share another piece of news. The Hispanic Outreach provides practical help, which allows us to build relationships and receive the opportunity to share the gospel. Two of our youth came to Christ just a few weeks ago
and attend The Journey West County youth group thanks to our diligent leaders in this community. We are making a difference together!
Join with us this holiday by donating an item from our wish list or making a tax-deductible financial donation.