Year End Review 2018 / 2019
In our fifth year, the International Women’s Group welcomed 24 women and their children from eight countries including India, China, Colombia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Bangladesh. We met weekly on Tuesday mornings at Monroe Park Towers from September-May. The group included VCU students/wives/family members and ladies from the local community. On average, about nine international women attended weekly. Nine American women from several local churches also participated in Tuesday mornings, facilitated creative sessions, and/or provided transportation. A full list of activities and photos are included below. (Please keep pictures confidential.)
This year we continued to intentionally encourage international women to facilitate sessions, promoting mutuality and giving them an opportunity to practice English and share their talents. For example, Turkish and Indian friends cooked international dishes with us, a Chinese friend shared about the major regions of China, and a Venezuelan friend facilitated a session on acting and shared a performance in Spanish. We also enjoyed seeing pictures of family members, viewing international music videos, and discussing our dreams.
A few more highlights from this year included a Christmas Tea hosted at Mary Doug Enghauser’s home. Each person was given a gift and the gospel of John. International friends commented this was the first Christmas celebration they had attended in an American home. Susan Smith also welcomed the women to her Goochland home and farm in May.
In April, we also hosted a baby shower for a friend from Turkey who is expecting a son in June. What a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the miracle of life with her when she is so far from home and family!
Here are a few comments from women who attended this year:
- “This is something I look forward to every week. It’s an amazing experience to meet new people of different backgrounds. Thank you for organizing.”
- “I love to share something with this group. Everything was great.”
- “Love this group. It helps me a lot to boost my confidence.”
- “We have such a nice group. We [are] like families. We encourage each other that we don’t feel alone in America.”
Through the international women’s group, women were able to make new friends, practice English, and learn about America and each other’s cultures. We were able to extend a warm welcome and friendship to international women in the Richmond community who are often isolated due to language, transportation, challenging life circumstances, and cultural differences. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to pray for these women each week. Your support has been greatly appreciated and enabled us to show the love of Jesus to these beautiful women!
Jill Fuller, Mary Doug Enghauser, & Julie Middleton