Abba’s House update from Michael Meissner — Executive Director
The start of 2022 was a bit slower….no doubt a gift from God since our family ended up dealing with some rather significant health issues. We were able to help out with quite a few of the arrivals from Afghanistan, and took on a number of larger projects here on the campus. But, the portion of the house set aside for refugees remained strangely quiet. That all changed in the matter of about a week as we recently had three different inquiries about potential placements, and as a number of other significant things began to unfold. Read on to hear the details!
Our Next Family
First up — our next family has been assigned to us: A mom and four children who will be coming to us from the Meheba Refugee Camp in Zambia (population 22,000) where they have lived for the past 15 years since the mom fled as a teenager from her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are still awaiting specific arrival dates, but it should be sometime in the first couple weeks of June. We will once again be needing regular volunteers who come in to work with either the mom or the kids (ages 13, 10, 7, and 4), sharing with them about the American life that awaits them, and simply welcoming them as our new friends. Get more info on volunteering here.
To get a glimpse of the life that they will be coming from, here’s a short video. Imagine living for the past 15 years in a setting like that, and then being dropped into an apartment in the middle of Houston….a single mom and four kids who don’t speak our language. It’s our joy to be able to give them a more caring welcome to their new home.
First Cabin Under Construction
The other major development here at Abba’s House is the construction of our first cabin! The shell was completed today. Next up comes the plumbing and electric. It is a simple two bedroom cabin, 16’X38′, and will be a great addition to what we have to offer as we welcome in our future guests from around the world. Thanks to our generous mission supporters at Bayou City Fellowship and Community of Faith, funding for the basic cabin was already in the bank. However, there are some additional costs connected with utility hookups, finishing touches, etc, so if you’d like to contribute towards that, you can donate here.
The master campus plan ultimately calls for three of these to be built, and we hope to be able to add the next two in the not too distant future. These will give us more capacity, but also more flexibility in the types and sizes of families that we can accept, duration of stay, etc.
Pressing Need: Automobiles
One of our recurring challenges is that we don’t have a vehicle large enough to transport many of our larger refugee families in the same vehicle. This next family presents that same challenge, so once again we are reaching out to see if anybody has a vehicle they would be willing to donate, or loan to us for the next couple of months while we care for the family from Zambia. It would need to have seatbelts for at least 6 (ideally 8+) people. If so, please contact me (Michael) at 832-628-0072.
Also, while on the topic of automobiles, our most recent family that came from Turkey is actively looking to purchase their first vehicle. The mom recently got her driver’s license, but they are living with very limited resources. So far they have saved up $2,000, and would need a reliable older vehicle that can seat 5 people. It would probably be best if the vehicle were not just given to them, but they would need a compassionate deal from one of our generous friends. Again, contact me if interested in talking.
Last, but not least, we have to give an update on the Abba’s House barnyard animals, who always seem to grab all the attention. It has been a busy spring, including the addition of the following: 5 baby goats born, 2 baby sheep, 1 rabbit, 7 chicks, 2 geese, and 3 ducks. Yes, we are preparing a Noah’s ark re-enactment and are 2/3 of the way done with the animal accumulation phase. (sigh) They are a mess, but we love them. Stop in and see them sometime.
Our most recent family was a delightful Sunni Muslim family from Turkey. We developed a close bond, and continue to be a part of each other’s lives. During a recent car ride, the oldest daughter turned to me and asked “Why do you help us out like this?” It was the third or fourth time they had asked that question in one way or another, and I answered them the same as I had before. “God has been so good to me. He loves me, forgives me, sent Jesus to die for me so I could go to heaven. God has been so kind to me that it makes me want to spend my whole life being kind to others to show that He loves them, too.”
One Reply to “A busy summer ahead”
Michael! What a great answer to the girl’s question. You need to lead with that next time. We who actually read to the end of this piece won’t be upset that you repeat yourself with this one. It’s a great witness and truly why we have you in our heart and prayers! Blessings to you all. BTW, how is Julie? Diane mentioned that she’s had some significant (?) health challenges lately.
Blessings in Jesus… David