Many of the "refugees" still coming to the Washington region are commonly referred to as "SIV's" - people with Special Immigrant Visas. These are visas for people and their families who served as translators for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their journeys to get here have been long and difficult, and yet getting to the U.S. doesn't mean the journey is over. Adapting to life in the U.S. has its own incredible sets of challenges, especially for the women who have come to the U.S., many without any formal education at all. For some, being in a country where they don't speak the language, or have marketable skills, feels like a trap.
Lutheran Social Services has started a program called Threads to Success, and GPC is a big part of it. Beginning in January, thirty-five Afghan women are signed up to take sewing classes in order to gain a skill and connect to community (sewing is typically a man's job in Afghanistan). GPC has already provided all 35 sewing machines needed, and will be providing help with critical transportation needs. Thank you for your generosity, and stay on the lookout for an invitation early next year to help put this program into practice! Let us pray that this program truely becomes a sign of hospitality to others who continue to struggle. Peace, Chris