A home to share with refugees.

A little more than one year ago, Jacob and I went for a bike ride that would change our lives. It was a short ride from where I was living in College Park, MD to our friends' apartment in Riverdale, MD. Our friends, Eric and Lisa had shared with our church about the joys and challenges of living in an apartment complex that houses many newly arrived refugee families. After months of hearing stories of welcoming and getting to know refugees from all over the world, Jacob and I agreed we would take a bike ride to check it out.

During that first visit, Eric and Lisa taught us all about the difficulties that refugees face as they seek a safe home in the US. They told us about the long process (months and sometimes years) to apply for refugee status plus the extra security measures that the US puts into place. They said that once refugees arrive in this country, they are supported by organizations for three months, in which time they need to find jobs and become self-sufficient. Many refugees don't speak English and all immigrants have extra steps to jump through to get their license, which is often required for employment. And they said that in the midst of all the paperwork, these were just people seeking a safe, happy life for their families. Eric and Lisa painted a picture of loving refugees by caring for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It didn't take much more than the bike ride home for me and Jacob to decide that this is where we wanted to start our married life together.

In the year that we've lived here, we've had the opportunity to love and care for people from places like Congo, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Rwanda, China, and Syria. We've celebrated the birth of babies and spent long days in the hospital during health scares. We've loaned our cars to new drivers, supported work application processes, and taught high school students how to type. Some of these things have pushed us outside of our comfort zones while a lot of things are exactly what we would do for any neighbors that we would have anywhere.

But, what we never could have predicted, is how much we had to gain by living here. We have tried delicious food from every corner of the world. We've learned about the history and current events in nations we previously knew nothing about. We've experienced true hospitality in ways that seem like a distant memory in our culture. And we've learned to worship and pray in deep, powerful ways.

We wanted to figure out a way to continue to bless our neighbors and to thank them for all of the ways they have blessed us. We want to show them that in this highly political time, there are people who love them as family. We want to invest in our community and can't think of a better way to do that than buying a home on the street next to their apartment complex.

We envision multicultural meals in our dining room, toddler playtimes in our basement, visiting refugee family members in our guest bedrooms, and celebrations in our backyard. We know that we can never replace the homes that our friends left behind and that ultimately no house is the home they crave, but we hope our home can be one place that real relationships and love take place.

When we shared our vision with family and friends, so many people were excited by this prospect and offered to help us in anyway that we could. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, not just for us, but for our neighbors, who often feel left behind or discouraged. Since many people are far away, we thought a fundraising page would be a way for people to support this vision. 

The money donated to this page will help us to turn our house into a home. With your support we will be able to:

  • Tear down the wall between the kitchen and living room to make a counter top ($1,500). This will open our main living area to allow for more conversation.

  • Replace 6 broken windows ($2,500). The springs have broken in the windows overtime which make them dangerous for little hands.

  • Repair broken shower in basement bathroom ($300). We will offer our basement bedroom for family members and friends of our neighbors to stay when they are in the area.

  • Build a fence (TBD). In order to keep our little visitors safe, we need to build a fence around the backyard.

  • Purchase sectional couch and furniture for basement ($2,000). The basement will be our main gathering space and we don't have the furniture to fill it.

  • Purchase guest bedroom furniture ($600). Something comfortable for visitors!

  • Purchase 12 folding chairs and a wall-mounted chair rack ($250). 

  • Other various repairs and purchases- We need to repalce a tile on the roof, install some electrical outlets, and get some lighting.

Will you partner with us in our vision to bless refugees and to be blessed by them? Please consider making a donation that will contribute to the home improvements and purchases.



Riverdale Park, Maryland

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