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Welcome Team Spotlight: The Gate

For Volunteer Appreciation Month, we appreciate all of our Welcome Teams for welcoming refugees to Indianapolis. Welcome Teams partner with Exodus to assist a refugee family with adjusting to life in the U.S. during their first few months. Learn more about one of our Welcome Teams, The Gate who have been working with The Gashumi family since the day they arrived at the Indianapolis airport.

It was a surprise to us to find out we have a Welcome Team. What they have done for my family and I has been so great. When they talk to me I feel like I am not alone. They have become a part of our family. I would like to thank them for working with us. We have been learning so much from them. So much would be lost if our relationship ends. I hope it lasts forever. – The Gashumi Family 

Why did The Gate want to get involved with helping refugees as a Welcome Team?

In our faith community we take our role as servants and followers of Jesus seriously. Jesus was always willing to help the marginalized, mistreated, and those overlooked by others. As His followers, we felt serving refugees coming to Indianapolis was one way we could follow Jesus and love our neighbor. None of us can begin to imagine how scary it must be to come to a place where you don’t know anyone and do not even speak the language. We felt that serving as a welcome team would be a good way for us to help a new family transition to life in the US.

What has your experience been like so far working with the family? What are some of the things you’ve done together or that you’ve helped them with?

It has been eye opening! We have had a great time getting to know them and helping them adjust to their new life. We have helped them with everything from cooking and cleaning, to grocery shopping and enrolling the kids in school. We have taken them to a Pacers game, showed them their neighborhood park and have more activities planned for the future.

What are a few of your favorite moments so far?

I love watching them learn new things and become more independent! They are so eager to learn and it is awesome to see. My favorite moment was how excited Jean Marie was to tell us he got a job.  

What would you tell other faith groups who would like to get involved welcoming refugees as a Welcome Team? 

It is a great way to serve the community and very rewarding to see these families thrive. It has also brought us closer as a faith community, being brought out of our comfort zone together.