After months of prayerful consideration, the Church of the Holy Advent made the commitment to sponsor a refugee family from Iraq. In Fall, 2008, the seed was planted by Alice Flanagan, a loving, caring parishioner who believed in "being the best you could be and if you did that, the rest was easy. God makes all things possible; he just needs our help!" So in 2009 we undertook the co-sponsorship of a family of adults, under the guidance of IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, located in New Haven.
Gradually over time and with the help of a core group of volunteers the family went to ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and learned English, took wonderful trips to new places, saw a wedding, planted a garden of vegetables, got jobs, learned to drive, and began to form their new life.
In time we saw the family go 'out on their own' as they became increasingly independent and acclimated to life in this country.
We have all become much richer from being together and we saw how little things really do count.
In July of 2011 they rented a house in Clinton and are now officially on their own. Ongoing friendships with all the family are treasured by the many who worked closely with them.