It's hard to pay attention to much of anything when you walk into a room and are greeting by a great big smile and deep brown eyes from the cutest 7 month old little boy. Elohim grabbed my attention the moment I saw him. A sweet baby, with a happy disposition, we became fast friends as I listened to his mom, Stephanie tell me the story about how their family had come to live in Northwest Arkansas.
Stephanie grew up in Cameroon, but before relocating to NWA she lived in a refugee camp in Algeria. When she stepped off the plane in NWA she was greeted by a crowd of strangers who would quickly become her friends and support group. They took her from the airport to the apartment that was set up for her and her soon to be born son. Everything they needed was there; clothes, cleaning supplies, furniture. Over the next few days Stephanie's new friends helped her get her social security card, medical check ups, and find a job. They also helped her figure out important things like where to buy groceries and how to handle US currency.
Now, 9 months later, Stephanie is a successful mom with a full time job, a car, and a home where her and Elohim are starting to feel settled in their new community. Stephanie told me that without the help of Canopy NWA this transition would have been so much harder.
Stephanie is just one of the many families that Canopy NWA has helped resettle over the last few years. No family ever thinks that they will have to relocate their family just so they can be safe, but that is the sad reality for millions of families. If you'd like to find out more information about how you can show hospitality to a family who is new to our community Canopy would love to talk to you or your church family. There are many ways you can get involved.
To find out more about Canopy NWA and how you can support their mission of creating a place of refuge for people fleeing persecution due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin you can connect with them here.