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.

Recently on a very cold Sunday the wife/mother of one family came with no coat – just a sweater. With donated funds a warm knee-length coat was purchased for her. When greeting the husband/father of another family, we noticed his hands were ice cold. Upon inquiry, he said he did have gloves, but they were too small! Another brief shopping trip provided him with a pair of very warm gloves!

Current Needs

  • Cash donations or store gift cards are greatly appreciated to fund shopping for these families when such as the above mentioned needs continue to arise.
  • Our families would also appreciate gift cards for grocery stores and gas stations, as their work income is limited.
  • One specific need now is transportation to Calvary on Sundays for a lady and her daughter – preferably to the 9:00 AM service so the daughter can attend Sunday school. The lady has a vehicle available to use, but does not yet have a driver’s license. They live close to the Olive Garden Restaurant.
  • Two sets of twin beds are needed for a family, along with a dresser.

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

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. (They are friends of Peter and Nyigwo and their families.) They worship with us on Sundays and are also involved in the new Anuak community worshipping at Calvary on Sunday afternoons. The youngest girls attend Sunday school and Awana.

  • Benewoyi Ojulu – 20-yr-old daughter
  • Nywatich Ojulu – 16-yr-old son
  • Achwhea Ojulu – 9-yr-old daughter
  • Agenilongera Ojulu – 6-yr-old daughter

This is their first experience with Winter's cold and snow!

Nyakuer 2018

Nyakuer Bol Deng and her 9-yr-old daughter Ayak Kuierashoung arrived June 2018 from Sudan. Nyakuer is taking ESL classes at Hawthorne to learn English. Ayak is in 4th grade. This will also be their first experience of winter and cold weather!  Hopefully, 3-yr-old daughter Athiei Kuierashoung will soon be travelling from Sudan to join her mother and sister here.

Nyakuer’s husband, Mading Kuierashoung came to the U.S. in the 1990s and worked at IBM in Rochester and Minneapolis. He was a member of Calvary. Mading returned to Sudan, married and had two daughters. He attempted to bring his wife and daughters to Rochester. Sadly, Mading passed away suddenly the end of May 2018. Nyakuer and Ayak arrived at the time of his funeral.

Peter family 2018

Peter Ojullu has been in Rochester 2 ½ years. He is attending classes at RCTC and is also working at RCTC in the Library and the Technical Center. His children Piemah, Gwith and Unapai, ages 9, 7 and 5, are attending school. Peter said they are all growing and need new size winter clothing!  Peter is a leader in the Anuak congregation that meets at Calvary on Sunday afternoons.

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 3½ to 16 years. They worship with us each week and are also involved in the new Anuak community that worships at Calvary on Sunday afternoons. Abang works at Rochester Meats and Nyigwo is very happy to have a custodial job with Rochester Public Schools, a position he was praying for!

  • Achol Gilo – 3 ½-yr-old girl
  • Onyalk Gilo – 6 yr-old boy
  • Wathbeer Gilo - 10 yr-old boy
  • Manamanya Gilo – 13 yr-old girl
  • Hannha Gilo – 16 yr-old girl



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