Category: Karen Family Care Team
June 16, 2016 by Relevant

 

BoeBoh

 

This past Saturday, volunteers from Relevant braved the hot temperatures and served a local Karen family at the latest Restoring Dignity project. While there, they ran into Boe Boh, her daughter, and son — members of one of the Karen families that Relevant supported. We were so excited to hear how Boe Boh’s family is doing…we wanted to share her inspiring story with you!

 

Four years ago this coming July, Boe Boh and her three older children resettled in Omaha. One of Relevant’s Karen Family Care Team helped assist Boe Boh’s family adjust to life in the U.S. when they first arrived. The Family Care Team built relationships with Boe Boh’s family, helped meet their needs including helping them understand the mail they received, teaching her to drive and how to shop at the grocery story, helping the kids learn how to succeed in school, and assisting the the family in finding their way around Omaha.

 

To learn more about Boe Boh and her family, check out this video we shot when our Family Care Team was working with them.

 

 

Boe Boh and her family are all doing well! When Boe Boh and her children moved to the United States, Boe Boh was pregnant…her son is now a healthy, thriving three-year-old! Boe Boh works full time, owns a car, and lives in a house. She plans to study for her citizenship test next year. Her children are all succeeding in school, playing sports, and they have made many friends. Boe Boh’s daughter shared that she is thinking about college and would like to become a nurse.

 

Perhaps the coolest part of the story is that when our Restoring Dignity Project volunteers ran into Boe Boh on Saturday, she was on her way to the apartment where the event was taking place. Our volunteers asked Boe Boh if she had met the mother of the Karen family whose apartment was being renovated that day. She responded, “Yes…I help her now that she lives here. I take her to the doctor and shopping for food.” She shared, “I come back here [to the apartment complex her family lived in before where the event was taking place] and help.” Boe Boh’s daughter shared that, “People call my mom when they need help.” Boe Boh has learned so much, and she continues to pay it forward, assisting others in her community. She is a difference maker!

 

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Left to Right: Boe Boh and her three year old son

July 2, 2013 by Ronnie Rothe

Our desire is that every person of Relevant is serving in a role where they have the opportunity to do what they do best. That is one of the reasons why we have started doing Ministry Spotlights. One of the primary goals when we do Ministry Spotlights is to present serving opportunities based on needed roles.

Throughout June we have been doing a Ministry Spotlight within Nation Engagement on the Karen Family Care Teams. Go to http://relevantcommunity.org/burma/serving/family/care/team if you missed any of the stories or information presented throughout this month. What follows are some needed roles as it pertains to the Nation Engagement Ministry on a whole. If you are interested in the potential of engaging in any of these roles, please contact Micki Schwerdtfeger at micki@relevantcommunity.org.

#1 Family Care Team Members: FCT members develop relational connections with Karen families who are new to the U.S., and commit to getting together with them 1-2 times a month to help the new family resettle in Omaha. Some examples of the things the FCT does are:

  • Teaching life skills, such as managing a checking account, driving or looking for a job
  • Doing fun activities with the family such as the zoo, skating, going to the park
  • Helping with English-speaking and reading (If you can speak and read at a fourth-grade level, you’re IN!)

#2 Homework Helpers: Homework Helpers meet with Karen kids of all ages 2-4 times a month in a group setting to help them with school work and basic learning skills. You don’t have to be a teacher to be good at this one!

#3 Domain Coordinators and Team Players: Domains are the “pillars” that make any society function well—such as education, health, economic, social, government and faith. We need Coordinators in some of the domains—strong leaders who can gather and rally teams to their cause of improving that domain locally and globally on behalf of the Karen. If you’re on volunteer Staff, one of these coordinator roles may be perfect for you. We’re also looking for Team Players in each domain—people with backgrounds and experience in that domain—for instance, we are forming a Medical Team to assess gaps locally and globally, and move to meet those needs. So, we’re looking for doctors, nurses, dentists—any medical professional, or someone with experience in the medical field to get that domain off the ground.

#4 Special Projects Team Players: We regularly need willing hands and feet to help with special projects that emerge in our work—people to give rides to doctor’s appointments, set up an apartment for an arriving family, help with clothes and other donation drives, clean up or help build a playground.

As you read over these roles, if there was something that grabbed your heart or imagination, act on it! Don’t wait. This may be how God wants to use you to drive the mission forward and advance His Kingdom.

Pastor Ronnie and Pastor Andy

June 18, 2013 by Ronnie Rothe

From Joel & Katy Kardell

My husband Joel was at the airport when the family first arrived in the United States. They were all very tired and shy. Thee was in a wheelchair, pale in color, and wearing a hat to cover her balding head. She had lost her hair from the chemotherapy she had received overseas. We weren’t sure what kind of medical cares she would need; but after seeing her, thought we might have to help the family prepare for the worst.

Her family was very protective of her, and never let her go anywhere without one of them accompanying her to help her with her crutches. After many doctor appointments, referrals, and repeated diagnostic tests the doctors determined that she did NOT have cancer but a benign tumor in her hip that was misdiagnosed overseas. Hope and healing were extended to the family and for the first time we saw them smile.

Katy and Thee

Thee’s older brother and I went with her the day of her surgery. Her brother almost passed out when they put the IV in and drew blood and had to step out of the ante-room. We waited over 8 very long hours for her surgery to end. Joel and Sine Htee (Thee’s brother) worked on a puzzle. At first, he was very frustrated and didn’t want to participate and just stared at the pieces and watched us. After watching for a while he started to try pieces, and as the hours passed he joined in and ended up completing the puzzle! He was SO proud of himself, and we were too!

Thee and Family

Thee spent a few days in the ICU. We took her family to visit her, and she cried. She cried many times during her hospitalization because she missed her family. During this time, the family had been introduced to KCRC (a Karen church here in Omaha) and had accepted Christ into their lives and were going to be baptized. We prayed over her together knowing that God understands all tongues, such a beautiful moment.

Thee and Family 2

After leaving the hospital, Thee had to spend a few weeks in a rehab facility learning to walk. Every day the family would ask when she would be able to walk without the crutches or the brace she had to wear after her hip replacement!?!!!? Each time, we would reassure them that it would happen with lots of therapy and patience. Thee now can walk independent of crutches!!!! Her gait isn’t perfect, and she can no longer go to therapy since she doesn’t qualify for Medicaid and can’t afford insurance, but she is always smiling and going places independently. She is now enrolled in ESL classes and is hanging out with friends all the time! Oh, and her hair has grown back a beautiful black with LOTS of curls!

– Katy Kardell

Thee

 

August 6, 2012 by Ronnie Rothe

This week our Karen family met a few more members of the Family Care Team: Steve, Paula, Scott and Nicole.

Paula and Steve brought a fruit and veggie tray and the children taste tested a number of unfamiliar items. The children wrote the names and drew a picture to go along with each item in their notebooks. Steve was also able to help one of the neighbors who stopped by and had a question on a letter he had received in the mail. They left books for the family, scrabble soup and a couple decks of flashcards. The children have been busy practicing time and money and learning their sight words.

On Friday, Scott and Nicole assisted the family in finding the children’s school. The goal was to teach the family how to safely cross the street at 52nd and Northwest Radial and find their school. Mom and kids all got the chance to push the button at the cross walk! Once we were at the school, Scott and the children took a break and played on the equipment! On the way home we stopped at Galligher Park where the children picked crab apples from the trees. They enjoyed taste testing the fruit. If you’ve never tried one they are VERY sour!

Mom takes advantage of every opportunity she has to practice her English. She said that our trip to the school was her first experience walking in the neighborhood and she would LOVE to venture out and see more. Mom also received a crash course on managing her money and keeping track of the balance in her account. The children are eager to start school on August 20th.

Mom and kids are excited to attend the Relevant Picnic on Sunday and our plan for next week is to walk back to school and assist the family in registering for classes. We will also tour the school so they feel comfortable on their first day of class.

If you are cleaning out a closet this fall and happen to come across any children’s books you would like to donate, please contact Cory or Kristin Nelson. Our team would love to help the family start their own library!

July 30, 2012 by Ronnie Rothe

As you know, Burma is the nation we believe God has called Relevant to engage long term…specifically with the Karen. 

Locally, we do many things with Karen refugees, one of them be the sponsoring of new refugee families that end up in Omaha.  We have care teams that work with these families for an entire year.  We sponsored a new family (a single mom and her three kids) that arrived about a month ago. 

We updated you on what the Relevant care team was doing when the family first arrived (http://relevantcommunity.org/wordpress/?p=296), but here are some additional things the care team has been doing over the past 30 days: 
• They have been working very hard with the mom on her English; basic English (ABC’s and 1, 2, 3’s), writing down her address, writing sentences from sight words, practicing conversation skills, etc.  Furthermore, they have been working with her on money management skills.  She loves having the team over and tells them that they can come every day if they would like.
• They have been helping the mom out with rides to places they need to go, filling out necessary paper work, getting the kids registered for school, and getting accustomed to life in America.
• They have been working a lot with the kids as well.  This last week they worked on colors, shapes, days of the week, months of the year, and then taught them the game “Chutes and Ladders.”

Please continue to pray for the Relevant care team and for these Karen refugees.  Also, if you are interested in our Nation Engagement ministry or joining one of these care teams, contact Andy Williams: andy@relevantcommunity.org

Pastor Ronnie

July 17, 2012 by Ronnie Rothe

We had the opportunity to meet with our family for the first time last Thursday. Thanks to a neighbor who translated for us it wasn’t awkward for long. We introduced the family care team, explained the visitation schedule and brought many gifts…quarters for laundry, grocery store gift cards, bus tickets etc. The mother was grateful for the generosity shown by our church.

The mother has started English classes at Harvest and is eager to practice! She has homework each night that keeps her busy. She spent the evening writing sentences using site words. She also has three children. All three children recognized the English alphabet, numbers and colors. We labeled everyday items in the apartment so they can practice their English when we aren’t there.We finished the night playing Candy Land and Memory!

This week we will meet with our family on three occasions and we will take mom to her prenatal appointment. All three children will visit the doctor as well. Once those appointments have been completed the children will be able to register for school. We hope to share pictures soon.

Cory & Kristin Nelson

April 18, 2011 by Ronnie Rothe

As a reminder, the Burmese family of four that Relevant is sponsoring is arriving in Omaha this Thursday evening.  We want to have a huge welcoming party for Kwee Kwee, Tha Nay, and their two young boys.  We have an apartment set up for them we fully furnished, now we want to let them know that there are people here who love them, and are excited to care for and help them.  They are stepping foot into a new county, without knowing the language, or knowing anyone, from a refugee camp.  We, the people of Relevant, are meeting at the Omaha airport at 4:45, at the Omaha info booth on the first floor.  We would love to see as many people from Relevant there as we can get.  Hope you can join us!!!

Pastor Ronnie

April 11, 2011 by Ronnie Rothe

As you know by now (hopefully), we believe the nation that God has called us to engage in for the long term is Burma.  Our main objective with is to serve Burmese refugees locally, and eventually extend our engagement globally – providing a consistent center of glocal missional activity for Relevant people and their friends.  Withover 3000 Burmese refugees living in Omaha, and more coming every month, we believe this objective is a reality. 

Well…here we go.  On April 20th a Burmese family of four (mom, dad, 2 children) will be settling in Omaha from a refugee camp.  This is the first of many families that we will hopefully be sponsoring; helping them settle in Omaha and get their “feet” underneath them in a new country.

This is a call for all of us, not just some of us.  To go toward the mission God has called us on, we need the entire community of Relevant to be behind this.  EVERYONE can help in some way.  We need shoppers, people to set up the refugee family’s apartment, donations to furnish their new apartment, airport greeters, welcome meal hosts, drivers, and financial contributions.

If you are interested helping sponsor this Burmese Refugee Family, please contact Andy Williams to find out how at andy@relevantcommunity.org.

 
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