Messiah News

Rice, Beans and Tears: An update on Messiah’s latest mission to feed people

Rice, Beans and Tears

An update on Messiah's latest mission to feed people

It was a damp Thursday in mid-January and Jim and Dianne Dawson volunteered to deliver food and hygiene supplies to several Afghan families who were temporarily housed at a local long stay hotel. I'd let Jim know that there would be 6 different deliveries and he wisely asked what vehicle he should bring. I flippantly responded, "the semi". As we filled the bed and back seat of his full-sized pickup with 28 large heavy reusable grocery bags plus 10-pound bags of rice and potatoes I realized my flippant answer had really been fair warning.

Undaunted, off they went with smiles on their faces and Jesus in their hearts to welcome the stranger. Two and a half hours later I got a call from the Dawsons. Jim reported that they had accomplished their mission, but there was more to report. I was deeply touched as he recounted his experience.

As Jim and Dianne were bringing in the last few bags to a family of 6 they saw the mother of the family sitting on the floor.Around her she had arranged the contents of the first bags. She looked up at Dianne with a tear in her eye caused by both happiness and frustration."How can I cook these things for my family? There are no pots and pans." It is unlikely that she had been able to cook for her family since she was evacuated from Afghanistan in August 2021 so her frustration was understandable.Her problem was soon resolved when the hotel employee dropped off the kitchen equipment which had been sanitized - as it is done between occupants. For a deeper understanding of the Afghan refugee experience read the article linked here: Afghan refugees find generosity, chaos as they settle in California county | Stars and Stripes

Near the end of January, I attended a Zoom meeting of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service volunteers. The meeting started with a volunteer from another church, Jin, asking to speak to me. But she was interrupted by Nikki the volunteer coordinator.Nikki began this meeting by expressing how instrumental Messiah volunteers continue to be to the Afghan resettlement. "We could not have done this without them. Jin added that she was deeply impressed by the amount and kind of food that we provide.

I have coordinated other volunteer groups, but I can't say that I've seen the level of dedication, willingness, and joy that Messiah has exhibited.The statistics do not give the whole story, but here they are.Volunteer hours given: 42 hours in December, 194 hours in January and 20 hours in the first three days of February. We have served 120 individual Afghans. I can only say:" WOW! And Thanks."

The refugees are still arriving and another 12 are expected. There is a place for you to help. First, pray for these wonderful people whose lives were put in danger by their aid to Americans. Would you like to shop or deliver supplies? Are you free to drive people to appointments? Could you pick up and deliver food boxes from local pantries or take refugees to choose clothing from free closets? Call or email me for more information. If you wish to make a financial donation to aid the Afghan refugees, a donation can be made through the giving portal on or write "Afghan refugees" on your check. Thank you for your continued support of this mission of Messiah.

Janet Borst

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.360.573.6220

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