Neighbor of MN
Dennis

 

Based on what we saw in the movies we thought we’d come to the U.S. and find affordable housing, and have a lot of opportunities to work here. The reality was completely different. It took a long time to find a good job and a good house.

When I came to Minnesota in March of 2015, I started to work for some employers who tried to scam me with my salary. I only worked with those people for a short time, and I thank the Lord that he protected me from them.

…that year of working two jobs and going to school, with three young sons and a new baby at home was the hardest year of my life.

I started to attend Normandale Community College to take English classes, and I got an opportunity to do work study. I worked in the cleaning department. I worked hard. It was a blessing for me to have some way to feed my family and to pay for our housing. But it was not enough for my family to get by.

I started working at night as a truck driver for Amazon delivery. I worked 9-10 hour shifts overnight. After that I would nap for a couple of hours and would then go to my classes and custodial job at Normandale.

I know a lot of people struggle with a hard life, but that year of working two jobs and going to school, with three young sons and a new baby at home was the hardest year of my life.

Everyone wants to live and stay in their homeland.
In Ukraine I had a good job. I was a general manager at a large company with over 1,000 employees. I was a deacon at my church. Everyone wants to live and stay in their homeland. When the war started to appear all across Ukraine, I was ready to protect my country, but I also heard stories of people who fought in the war and died due to mistakes and bombs. I could protect my country, but I also wanted to care for my family. My wife and I prayed about this and got the opportunity to move. It was clear that we should move, but it was so hard to leave my home country and my church in Ukraine.

My wife’s brother was resettled by Arrive Ministries over 20 years ago. He completed an application to help us join him in Minnesota.

After a little over a year working and studying in America, I decided to stop taking classes and look for better paying work. I got a job working at a used car dealership, and later a full time job as an accountant working for RAVMOTORS. I have now worked for them for almost 5 years, and it is a beautiful, nice job.

I think it is very important for every refugee to find a community where you can grow spiritually.
My family and I belong to Shakopee Baptist Church, and I am so happy to be a member at that church. We have lot of friends and support from the church members. We are a part of a church community where people help each other and pray for each other. It is a blessing for me to pray for others and whatever they are struggling with.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only son” was shared in 16 or 17 different languages due to the large number of cultures inside our church.
I think it is very important for every refugee to find a community where you can grow spiritually. On Pentecost Sunday, when the church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, the verse “God so loved the world that he gave his only son” (John 3:16) was shared in 16 or 17 different languages due to the large number of cultures inside our church. We are so blessed by that.

If a refugee is alone in America it is going to be so hard to deal with all of the problems they will face. My church provided me and my family with friends who gave us advice on how to take English classes in the evening, how to get jobs, and even how to qualify for a Habitat for Humanity program that made it possible for us to buy our home 3 years ago.

We now own a home with a beautiful backyard that is next to a park…
We are so happy to have purchased a house, for us it was a blessing. It was our dream. We now have five sons (2 babies were born in the U.S.) and if you live in an apartment it is so hard on the kids to be inside all of the time. We now own a home with a beautiful backyard that is next to a park with a basketball court, a volleyball court and a playground. We are so happy to have purchased our home.

I didn’t know conversational English when I arrived; that is how I found myself employed by people who were scamming me.
Refugees should attempt to learn English through ESL classes, if possible. I didn’t know conversational English when I arrived; that is how I found myself employed by people who were scamming me. Everyone should learn English as soon as they can, it will make it much easier to make the U.S. feel like home.