We have welcomed several refugee families to Calvary this past year. Read the introductions and updates below. They are eager to meet new friends and assimilate at Calvary. Please introduce yourself and visit with these new friends.

Contact Sharon Bjerkaas at [email protected] or 507-282-9850 if you have questions or to share in this ministry

Current needs for Refugee Care

The most urgent needs now are financial assistance for a refugee family where both the husband and wife lost their full-time jobs in the past two weeks.

  • Cash donations for rent and general living expenses are the most needed. If you wish to give through the Benevolent Fund, don’t designate an individual's name on the check, but in the memo you can say: For Refugee Ministry.
  • Gift cards at grocery stores.
  • Your friendship!

Using Your Gifts and Talents in Serving

The Refugee Care Ministry team is looking for additional people who may wish to use their gifts and skills in this ministry. Here are some ideas:

  • ESL assistance for children and adults. Many jobs require good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Tutoring/school work help for students of all ages – preschool through high school
  • Computer skills including typing
  • Assistance with job search and interviewing
  • Transportation and driving time for those seeking driver's licenses
  • Guidance in financial matters - maintaining a checkbook, keeping records, files
  • Assistance with shopping and introduction to American foods

Introducing Our Families

Nyigwos family

Nyigwo Gilo Nyigwo and his wife Abang Ochalla, along with their five children, moved to St. Paul, MN in 2016 and came to Rochester September 2017. The children range in age from ages 2 ½ to 15. They are also involved in the new Anuak community worshiping at Calvary on Sunday afternoons.

  • Achol Gilo – 2 ½-yr-old girl
  • Onyalk Gilo – 5 yr-old boy
  • Wathbeer Gilo - 9 yr-old boy
  • Manamanya Gilo – 12 yr-old girl
  • Hannha Gilo – 15 yr-old girl

Melaku Denbu Ningashe came to Rochester in 2017 from Ethiopia. His prayers were answered recently in finding a full-time job. He loves Calvary and the Christ-centered worship. He has a driver's permit, but needs more driving experience so he can pass his test for a license. His family is still in Ethiopia and he asks for prayer for their salvation and that they see Jesus in him.

Peter Ojullu family

Peter Ojullu has completed a semester of classes at RCTC and is working at Walmart. His children, ages 8, 6 and 4, are attending school. Peter is engaged to Abang Okwier and they plan to be married this spring.

Okoth Ojwak Kony

Ojwak Okoth, his wife Kony Omot and family came to Rochester in 2014 from a refugee camp in Kenya and are fairly well established here with work and school. Their sons are Chaedago, age 9; Chipdeel, age 5; and Dano, born December 13, 2017.


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