From Ukraine to Minnesota: A Glimpse of Lives in Transition

Husband and wife Volodymyr and Yaroslava, along with brother Yurii, were born and raised in Ukraine. In November 2018, they arrived as refugees to Minnesota, where they were welcomed at the airport by their Arrive Ministries case manager, Kisongo Mbeleulu.

“[Before we arrived] I didn’t even know that somebody was going to help us. I expected to come here and start working the first week somewhere washing floors. I didn’t realize that I was going to get so much help, both financially and emotionally, and that Arrive would explain everything to me,” says Yaroslava.

Refugees coming through Arrive Ministries typically work closely with their case manager throughout the first 30 to 90 days of their resettlement. This case, however, was unique in that this family worked with multiple departments including: Reception and Placement Services, Refugee Cash Assistance, Refugee Employment Services, and our volunteer program.

Yaroslava was interested in a volunteer to help her practice for her job interview. Arrive Ministries volunteer coordinator, Rebekah Phillips, connected her with a volunteer who was excited to meet Yaroslava and help her prepare.

“We spent two and a half hours together the first time. I recently saw her again and we talked just like friends. She is a very good person and also helped me practice my English and writing,” Yaroslava shared.

We have enjoyed the lakes and the nature and all of the sports that are available in Minnesota. The people here are very open and helpful. -Yurii
Arrive Ministries Employment Counselor Anya Yastremski, attended a job interview with Yaroslava.

“On the day that I had my interview, I asked Anya to come with me because I was little bit hesitant… and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity,” Yaroslava shared.

Yaroslava was greatly encouraged that Anya attended the interview with her as a support system and was so excited to receive a job offer at the end of her interview!

“Basically they [Arrive Ministries staff] do a good job at their work, not just because they are professionals, but because they do it from their heart. Thanks to them, they eased our transition that we made from our comfort zones to the zone of sudden change. They prepared us very well for the hardships that could happen by showing us how to deal with those situations,” Volodymyr commented.