Immigration: 21st Century

REJOICE: Thank you for your prayers. On April 6, 2017 our Syrian Refugee family was reunited safely in the states. Here is story that ran in the local paper.

In collaboration with the Clerics of St. Viator, the Sisters of the Living Word are supporting the relocation of a family from Syria to Chicago.

The father of our Syrian family, Marwan, has found full-time employment in his field of banking and finance!

The boys are doing well in their respective schools.  The oldest, Homam, who is in high school, is thinking of trying out for the swim team as he keeps up his good grades.  The middle boy, Ferres, in Middle School, is doing well and has made some new friends.  The youngest, Elyas, is improving his English and feeling more comfortable speaking.  Luanne Wilhelm, SLW, is tutoring him several times a week to help him use English more easily.

Marwan and his family continually thank the Sisters, Associates and Friends for all they have provided for their family – a safe place to live, furniture, bedding, and all else that makes it “home” for them; their care, help in so many ways, opportunities to experience new things, people to meet, and places to visit.  They often say, “The Sisters are part of our family.”

Daily Herald article

Update – March 2018:

On Wednesday evenings the Saffaf family joins Carrie Miller, SLW for dinner at the First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. There they meet other people, have a great meal, and go home with food for another meal.

Eileen and Marlene Geimer, SLW were recently invited to a delicious dinner at the Saffaf home. They were served lamb and turmeric rice which was quite a treat.

Maria, the daughter, has improved her English greatly. She is starting to laugh at jokes and responds with the right answer to questions. She is not afraid to speak out as she was last April when she arrived.

Luanne Wilhelm, SLW continues to tutor Elyas who is the youngest child. Maria practices reading with him in the evenings. Their mother, Lama, will sometimes join the tutoring lessons and games so she can learn too. She recently spoke a complete sentence in English while with Luanne and just beamed about her accomplishment! Lama is also starting to joke and laugh. She goes to English class four times a week.

Marwan, the father, is now trying to get his mother out of Syria.