Our Refugee Resettlement Ministry Update on Welcoming a Ukrainian Family
First, thank you for actively loving our neighbors.
Not long ago we posted a photo of the Ukrainian family which we at St. John’s have been assisting with resettlement. Two members of the Fostiuk family were able to leave Ukraine via a circuitous route after the ongoing war began. Iryna (Irene) Fostiuk and her younger daughter, Anastasiia, are living with family here in Wake Forest, her older daughter Snizhana Fostiuk Mercado, her husband Juan, son Daniel, and daughter Emma. Snizhana has been in the U.S. for around a decade.
It is a big undertaking to deal with immigration legalities even when an unjust war is the impetus for individuals to leave their beloved homeland. We just learned that Iryna’s paperwork has been officially ‘received’ by U.S. immigration department(s). A timeline for her hoped-for ‘green card’ has yet to be established. Being in high school Anastasiia’s status is classified as ‘Humanitarian Parole’ (yes, strange nomenclature) which has, thankfully, been extended by a year. Anastasiia just completed her Junior Year of high school and earned very high marks in her Honors classes! Congratulations are in order!
Helping with groceries for this unexpectedly larger family is one of the ways we at St. John’s are participating in the resettlement process. We have now shifted to a once-a-month sign-up opportunity for one or more of our households to help out. Our sign-up genius is the best way to commit. The weekend closest to the beginning of the month is proving to be most helpful for the Fostiuk-Mercado household.
We realize that another way to provide food support is by providing grocery store gift cards. The family most often shops at Lidl but also uses Harris Teeter for some items that are related to family food allergies that Lidl doesn’t carry. If you’d like to assist in this manner, please feel free to place in the offering plate on Sunday mornings a grocery store gift card.
Working with our Rector Sarah our Outreach Committee hopes to identify a Sunday in the fall on which we can focus more personally on this vitally important ministry. In the meantime, do keep the Fostiuk-Mercado family in your prayers along with all the people of Ukraine.
A sincere thanks to everyone who has welcomed this family into our midst and has provided financial relief through groceries and other means.
Peace and grace,
The Rev. Dr. Lorraine Ljunggren
The Rev. Dr. Jim Melnyk
Priest Associates, Retired