The Baskaran family fled Sri Lanka to Malaysia before coming to Minnesota.
Sriranjini Baskaran recalls, “While living under refugee status in Malaysia, our only dreams and hopes were to live a peaceful life with basic rights like having the legal authorization to work, study, and get medical treatment.”
But once Sriranjini and her family arrived in Minnesota, she started envisioning a world with larger possibilities.
“…my studies kept getting disrupted due to relocation, displacement and fleeing due to our ethnic struggle.”
“Our first goal upon landing in Minnesota was to make sure our kids (grades 6 and 9) get a proper education. For the last 9 years, they had no access to formal schools and relied on refugee-setup informal learning centers,” said Sriranjini.
“Being a passionate learner, myself, I have so much love for education, and yet my studies kept getting disrupted due to relocation, displacement and fleeing due to our ethnic struggle,” said Sriranjini.
“My goals upon arriving in the U.S. were to obtain a higher degree in education and get a good job to support my family and community. I was also determined to learn to drive and own a car because I don’t want limitations in commuting to restrict my goals,” she reminisced.
Sriranjini and her family were resettled through Arrive Ministries in 2015, receiving employment assistance through our job counselor, Anya. Her family was also connected to a family from Wooddale Church, Tom and Claire, through our Refugee Life Ministries program.
A Gift Makes a World of a Difference
About that same time, David and Abby who were leading a different Refugee Life Ministries team, donated a used 2011 Volkswagen Jetta to Arrive Ministries to be gifted to a refugee family.
The Baskaran family was chosen to receive this generous gift of transportation.
“It gave me the strength and confidence I needed to pursue my academic journey… with the learned skill of commuting independently in my own vehicle.”
Sriranjini shared how much of a blessing the car was in her life, “It gave me the strength and confidence I needed to pursue my academic journey. While supporting my sons’ educations and taking care of my mom, I was still able to get a part-time job and pursue my degree, all with the learned skill of commuting independently in my own vehicle,” she said.
“I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in 2018, to was able to pursue my Masters’ at the University of Minnesota. It was God’s blessings through David and Abby, Tom and Claire and Arrive Ministries. We are so grateful to them.”
Soon after, Volkswagen had to recall all of their cars due to environmental concerns, and the Baskaran’s 2011 used Jetta was exchanged for a brand new 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack with a financial installment plan to settle the balance for the new car.
David and Abby’s generosity and kindness helped Sriranjini and her family to not only survive but thrive in their new country. Not only was Srianjini blessed, but David and Abby said they experienced God’s generosity.
“The act of faith was multiplied.”
“We were able to pay back the value of the car and more in God’s own creative ways. The act of faith was multiplied,” said David.
In addition to achieving her goal of learning to drive, Sriranjini Baskaran recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Master’s Degree in Human Resource development. She most recently worked as a Project Manager with Thomson Reuters.