The Vax Van Cometh!

by Marilyn Martin Raymond, Refugee Ministry Team

There are many significant moments for those of us who are honored to walk beside the recently settled Afghan families. In addition to our original family of two parents and ten children ranging in age from 24 years of age down to 4, a few of us have stepped up to help a family of five siblings as well! All of these people mean there is always something to do, or fix, or seek clarification on.

There is also much to report. The two oldest two sons from our original family are working full time, the 17 year old has a part time dishwasher job, and soon two other adults will be employed. They are all learning English and sometimes it is heartwarming to realize that we just had an entire conversation and did not use an interpreter! The four year old is in daycare, which allows Mom and Dad to attend ESL classes. The four youngest children now all have bikes. The teen boys love to play cricket.

You might be wondering about the title of this message, well let me tell you about Maya Desai! Everyone in the family was in need of either a second COVID vaccine or a booster. As you can imagine, getting 12 people anywhere takes a bit of planning. So Maya thought, “why not have the vaccine come to us?” So one night last week, the Board of Health mobile vaccine clinic came to our family’s home and vaccinated ten out of the twelve family members. There was something so supportive and positive and even fun about the process. As each vaccinated family member emerged from the van, the waiting family members cheered each other on and applauded each other’s bravery. We often comment to each other about the positive nature of this family’s relationships. When you are in their home, you can feel the warmth and depth of the love that is the signature of this incredible family.

We do have something we need to ask of you; we have had seven $100.00 Target gift cards donated for the family. We have not found much use for these cards at Target so we were wondering if you would be willing to buy a card or two from us so that we can use the cash for food, or other necessities and not be tied to one store? If you can help us out by helping us to access the money for any of these gift cards, please send me a message here:

Thanks, Marilyn Martin Raymond