Refugee Resettlement Ministry
Lake Edge coordinated with Lutheran Social Services and the
Synod Refugee Resettlement Task Force to help welcome refugees to Madison.
Our congregation took on the task of helping to resettle a Bhutanese refugee family. We have enjoyed welcoming the Basnet siblings to Madison and then helping them furnish and settle into their three bedroom apartment. On Monday, July 1, a group from Lake Edge made their way to the south side with cleaning supplies in hand, welcome boxes to be unpacked, furniture delivered and an apartment was transformed into a home! Chhatra, Sarasoti, Hari Maya, Lachhi Maya, and Dik Basnet repeatedly expressed their thanks to those present on Monday and they also wanted to express their sincere thanks for all who gathered things for the boxes and our prayers for their mother.
They love company and just say you are from Lake Edge and you will be welcomed warmly. Jean Berg spearheaded the effort and was assisted by Karen Blackdeer, Lil Genskow, Barb Gilbertson, Mary Graper, and Mary Ann Jared and to Dan Oakland who delivered their furniture. Mohammed Ezzat of LSS Refugee Resettlement was very impressed with the organization and commitment to detail that our team gave to this loving effort.
We published the Basnet's story in our September 2013 issue of the Dialogue. You can read about their lifes and challenges here.
Bhutan is bordered by China, Nepal and India. In the
mid1980’s the government declared a program of “Bhutanization,” calling for
one country, one people. This eliminated the traditional dress, worship and
language of these southern Bhutanese people in favor of the northern, ruling
Druk majority and king. The families have been living in Nepal refugee camps
for almost twenty years. They have suffered human rights violations,
including detention and loss of citizenship.
A Ministry of Evangelical Hospitality To New Americans: Lutheran World Relief (LWR) works closely with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in resettling refugees in many places around the world. Through LWR and Lutheran Social Services (LSS), the ELCA became aware of the situation in Bhutan, one of the most grave and protracted refugee situations in the world today. Since 2009, the ELCA has helped to relocate some of these refugees and continues a relationship with these families.
If you have questions about the support group or volunteering, please call Jean Berg or Mary Graper. For more information about the Bhutanese, visit http://www.bhutaneserefugees.com.