Celebrating 20 Years of RLM
The Zaw Mae family is one of seven refugee families that a team from Grace Church Roseville, led by Bob and Julie Lorence, came alongside through Refugee Life Ministries since the early 2000s.
[pullquote style=”right” quote=”light”]She was a woman in the middle of labor. I sat there and held her hand and rubbed her back.[/pullquote]The Zaw Mae family arrived in 2009 with only the clothes on their backs due to lost luggage. Julie persistently called the airline for two weeks until they got their luggage back. “I can’t imagine how challenging it must have been to start a new life without being able to communicate easily,” said Julie.
Within their first 48 hours in the U.S., one of the children accidentally dialed 9-1-1 in the middle of the night. Thankfully the officers saw Julie and Bob’s photos and phone numbers on a bulletin board, and called them to clear up the misunderstanding.
Julie planned to drive Nee K’Mee Paw to the hospital when she went into labor. Unbeknownst to her, it wasn’t customary in the Karen culture for fathers to attend the birth. Not wanting to leave her friend alone during labor, Julie took on the role of a birth coach.
“I couldn’t leave. I could tell she wanted me there. We had a trust between us. She was a woman in the middle of labor. I sat there and held her hand and rubbed her back. That little baby has a special place in my heart,” said Julie.
“They arrived in Minnesota unable to understand English, and had to overcome so much,” said Julie. [pullquote style=”right” quote=”light”]They arrived in Minnesota unable to understand English, and had to overcome so much. We are so proud of them…[/pullquote]“We are so proud of them and what God has done through this ministry. Reminiscing on these relationships more than a decade later has reminded me of God’s faithfulness over and over again in life’s uncertain circumstances when we step out in faith or even fear!” exclaimed Julie. “We have learned and been blessed so much from our friendship with these families.”
The Zaw Mae family is still in touch with the team leaders, Julie and Bob. The Zaw Mae’s two oldest children are now in college.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering through RLM as a church team, fill-out this Volunteer Interest Form.