Always Doing Good
Astou was quieter than usual in ESL classes. She waited until the other ladies left for the evening to talk with her teacher. After several minutes of chit-chat, the conversation grew more serious. With tears in her eyes, she revealed that her husband had just been deported. How would she and her six children manage?
She knew they could not all return to their West African country, but how would she be able to work, pick-up, and drop off her young children at school each day? What about the bills? Her husband had been the significant wage earner for the family. Astou wondered aloud where God was and if He would help her.
Envision New York City started a fund that seeks to help Astou and West African women like her in their transition to the US—The Tabitha Fund named after Tabitha, a disciple in the early church who was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36).
The Tabitha Fund addresses critical needs for women in transition. It provides supplies for ESL classes. We currently have over 25 West African women taking ESL classes twice a week. These beautiful women desperately want to learn English so they can find jobs in NYC, communicate with their children’s teachers at school, and pass immigration tests to obtain green cards or U.S. citizenship.
The Tabitha Fund also provides scholarships for job training programs, immigrant advocacy resources, and children’s support services such as tutoring. The cost to provide this type of support for 50 West African women is approximately $11,300.
Alliance Women has set a goal to raise $56,500 for the Tabitha Fund, enough to cover these critical needs and invest in transitional housing. We invite you to partner with what God is doing among West African women in New York City, like Astou, by contributing to the “Tabitha Fund” through your gifts to Alliance Women.
A Resting Place
Awa, a West African refugee, found herself alone in the United States. Recently divorced and without any family support, she was homeless and desperate. She described how she felt that God was distant and malevolent. She was searching for hope and answers in all sorts of places without much success.
My friend, Fatou, a believer from West Africa, had connected with Awa and heard her story. She called and begged me to help in some way. The following day found Fatou, Awa, her young baby, and me in my apartment. She welcomed our prayers and accepted our help, attending a home health aide training course with the help of the Tabitha Fund.
We began to dream about helping West African women in New York City like Awa with transitional housing during difficult life circumstances. Imagine the Kingdom opportunities if there were a transitional house where Awa could live alongside other West African women, some of whom know Christ. It would be both a resting and training place where women could come for a season before being launched into a new life.
Envision NYC desires to provide transitional housing where Christians live alongside new immigrants to incarnate Christ and disciple them at a key moment in their lives. This is a significant investment ($850,000), but worth it when we consider the stability and hope this would provide dozens of women each year who are vulnerable to the high price of living in the city.
Alliance Women has set a goal to raise $56,500 for the Tabitha Fund, enough to cover these critical needs and invest in transitional housing. We invite you to partner with what God is doing among West African women in NYC by contributing through your gifts to Alliance Women. GIVE.
Forgiveness and Sacrifice
Envision NYC – Tabitha Fund
I arrived at ESL classes on Ash Wednesday with ashes on my forehead. What would the students think, I wondered? Marieme asked what was on my head. She was concerned I was injured. What an opportunity!
As another teacher and I talked about the sacrifice of Jesus, she listened intently and interjected that she recently saw the JESUS film. She told us she was moved to tears when Jesus forgave the man beside him on the cross. She could not fathom that type of forgiveness or kindness.
After a long pause, she started quietly singing a beautiful French song which tells of the sacrifice of Jesus for all our sins. We were amazed. We joined in, and after it was over, we asked her where she had learned the song.
She recounted that over 50 years ago as a young schoolgirl in a West African country she attended a program at a Catholic charity for several months. She learned the song there and
remembered it all these years later and realized it fit perfectly into the discussion we were having.
We again explained that we all are like those men next to Jesus on the cross and in need of the forgiveness of Jesus. We challenged her to continue to press into the faith and offered to
send her the JESUS film in her language to her phone.
We invite you to partner with what God is doing among these West African women in NYC by contributing to the “Tabitha Fund” through your gifts to Alliance Women. You can give an online gift HERE.