For those of you who haven’t had the chance yet to meet our newest family, we would like to introduce you to Sarah and Sabrina. They came to us on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, from the Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda, where Sarah has lived for over 20 years. She is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but was orphaned at age 3 when her parents were killed in the ethnic violence that has rocked that nation. There’s much more to her story, but the rest of it is her story to tell, not mine. Needless to say, hers has been a difficult journey, but she is very excited about the hope and possibility that she has as she and her daughter begin their new life here in the USA. Their first three weeks here at Abba’s House have been a flurry of activities — volunteers come in each weekday morning to teach them about modern appliances, help them navigate our rather overwhelming grocery stores, computer skills, finances… and the all-so-important English classes which are so key to getting them up and running in their new lives. They are a Christian family, and have embraced every opportunity to join in on worship and faith activities as they come available. Sabrina is a curious and inquisitive 6 year old, delighting in trying out things like bikes, scooters, the piano, bubbles, games, and all these delicious foods that she’s never tasted before. Her favorite food hands down — spaghetti (with strawberries a close second)!
We are so grateful for our dedicated “missionary volunteers” who come in each day, either to work with the women on various life skills or to work with the children on their schooling. Other volunteers bless us tremendously by making themselves available to help out with various repairs or projects that continually present themselves in a ministry like this. We truly couldn’t do what we do without so many people pouring in to this ministry.
The other big headline here at Abba’s House is RAIN. We have had one of the wettest winters we can remember here in Cypress, which has delayed most of the outdoor projects we had hoped to accomplish in the new year. Last fall, Bayou City Fellowship sponsored the construction of the huge privacy fence along the north side of our property. Community of Faith stepped up next and agreed to take on the digging of our pond and moving a lot of dirt to take care of our flooding issues. That, unfortunately is still on standby as we wait for the ground to dry out enough so the bulldozers don’t get stuck! As soon as that happens, we will be able to move forward on a slew of other projects — putting in gardens, building some animal pens, adding walking paths, etc…whenever the finances and manpower come available. We’re in conversations with a number of other area churches like Cypress United Methodist, LifeBridge/Cypress, the Church at Cross Lake, and Redeemer in Tomball about adopting some of those projects. Others have stepped up financially with such generous contributions that allow us to move forward on some of these projects. This has definitely become a community venture, as God’s people rally around this ministry of welcome and hospitality for the refugees that God is bringing into our city. Below is a rendering of what we envision our campus becoming in the next couple of years. Currently, all that is there is the main house (marked A.H). We are eager to get started on the rest!
Our next Community Dinner is scheduled for Friday, March 29 from 6:30-8:30. Each month, we have around 30-40 people show up to enjoy a meal, hear the journey of one of our guests, and join together in a time of worship and prayer. We’d love to have you join us. Make sure to like our Facebook page to see the invite when it goes out. Or, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spots.
Thank you again for all your encouragement and support as we get this ministry launched. We covet your prayers. While it is an incredibly rewarding venture, it is also intensely grueling…especially for my family who live this reality 24/7 and get to experience the frustrations and challenges in very personal ways. We look forward to watching what God does through this ministry in the months and years to come.
— Michael Meissner, Exec. Dir of Abba’s House
Below are a few more pictures of daily life at Abba’s House:
Julie’s shadow at the stove…
Sabrina loves all her teachers and friends who come each day
Getting her own phone was HUGE for Sarah…as it is her lifeline to friends back home
The Abba’s House table is regularly blessed to be filled with so many people. . .