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

Current needs for Refugee Care

We have several refugee families who are part of our Calvary family. From time to time specific needs arise that we want to share with you.

Three new refugee families have recently moved to Rochester and are part of Calvary’s congregation. They are Ethiopians who have immigrated to America after spending several years in a refugee camp in Kenya. They have several needs.

Please check this page from time to time, as there will be needs for winter clothing and other items in the near future.

Current Needs

  • Cash donations or store gift cards are greatly appreciated so the Refugee Care Ministry can purchase necessary household and clothing items.
  • Kitchen table and chairs
  • Two sets of twin beds (not bunk beds) are needed for a family, along with a couple dressers.
  • Living Room furniture - couch, chairs
  • Dishes, glasses, kettles, flatware and cooking utensils for a couple
  • End tables or night stands, coffee table, lamps
  • Television sets

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:

  • Tutoring/school work help for students of all ages - preschool through high school
  • Computers and computer skills including typing
  • Transportation and driving time for those seeking driver's licenses

Introducing Our Families

Achan Gilo website

Achan Ochogi Gilo came to Rochester in August 2019 from Iowa, where she had been living the past year. She previously came from the same refugee camp in Kenya as did our other Ethiopian families.  Achan is working full-time and the children both attend school. Her husband has not yet arrived from Iowa.

  • LongJwok Olwach – 9 yr-old daughter
  • Dijworo Olwach – 6-yr-old son
Omot Hariete website

Hariete Mikhael Omot arrived September 2019 from Colorado, where she had lived just a few months. Her son, Kenebede Omot is 4 years old. She also knows Nyigwo and Peter from the refugee camp and wanted to join the Ethiopian community here in Rochester.

Opiew Baw and his wife Abang Ojwatto immigrated from Ethiopia to Minneapolis two years ago. They moved to Rochester this past week and have considerable needs for furnishings, household items. They are a dear couple who are eager to be part of Calvary’s Christian community.

Ochalla Gilo Family 2018

Ochalla Ojulu Gilo and his wife Abwolla Cham, along with their four children, came to Rochester August 2018 from a refugee camp in Kenya. Ochalla and Abwolla are both working full-time, learning to drive, and studying English. They worship with us on Sundays and are also involved in the new Anuak community worshiping at Calvary on Sunday afternoons. The youngest girls attend Sunday school and AWANA.

  • Nywatich Ojulu – 17-yr-old son
  • Achwhea Ojulu – 10-yr-old daughter
  • Agenilongera Ojulu – 7-yr-old daughter
Nyigwo family 2018

Nyigwo Gilo Nyigwo and his wife Abang Ochalla, along with their five children came to Rochester September 2017. The children range in age from 4½ to 17 years. They worship with us each week and are also involved in the new Anuak community that worships at Calvary on Sunday afternoons where Nyigwo is a leader. Both Abang and Nyigwo are employed full-time.

  • Achol Gilo – 4 ½-yr-old girl
  • Onyalk Gilo – 7 yr-old boy
  • Wathbeer Gilo - 11 yr-old boy
  • Manamanya Gilo – 14 yr-old girl
  • Hannha Gilo – 17 yr-old girl
Peter family 2018

Peter Ojullu has been in Rochester 3 ½ years. He is attending classes at RCTC, studying to become an R.N. and is also working at RCTC in the Library and the Technical Center. His children, soon to be ages 10, 8 and 6, all attend school. They attend Sunday school and AWANA at Calvary. Peter is a leader in the Anuak congregation that meets at Calvary on Sunday afternoons.

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