***UPDATE – Tuesday, April 25, 2017***
Asha’s Refuge congratulates Pastor Innocent on his getting a full time job! We are appreciative of Elite Staffing in Olive Branch, MS who have helped us place a few clients lately and look forward to working with them going forward. Thank you McKesson for allowing our guys to work with you! We appreciate you!
I met Pastor Innocent September 2016 just after he arrived to Memphis. His name was unique and one that was not easy to forget. His English was not so good, but he has improved a lot over the past 7 months. Innocent and his family escaped the war in the Congo but as a Christian Pastor his heart is still on the ground in the Congo with the many people (including children) he feels that he left behind. Innocent and his wife, Jeanne, are just approaching 50 years old. They have adult children who now have children. Their adult children and grandchildren are also here in America with refugee status. His adult children are working and doing well. Pastor Innocent is so grateful to God and America for allowing their family the blessing of coming to live here in what they feel is a land of safety, freedom and opportunity. When I see Innocent, he smiles a lot. He also is always eager to help me help others.
Innocent and his wife’s story does not stop here. While they were in the Congo their heart was very sensitive to the many orphans they saw. “God says to take care of the orphans” proclaimed Innocent. Most of the people running from the various types of war and persecution are women and children. Children are often disconnected from their parents as they try to escape. Sometimes parents are killed in the fighting. So many children are left abandoned, alone and afraid. Innocent and Jeanne have huge hearts for the orphans in Africa. During their escape, they grabbed Eddie and Naomi and have proudly taken on the parental roll of these two children as their own. Eddie and Naomi came to America with Pastor Innocent and his wife Jeanne. Eddie (the teen boy pictured here on the left with Innocent’s grandson) and Naomi (pictured here on the right beside our Asha’s Next Generation teen leader Madison) are happy and are enjoying school. They are both teenagers now and eager to go to college one day. Their family wants to thank American citizens for their help and invitation to start their lives over.
Pastor Innocent must now get a paying job to provide for his family. He is currently signed up at a local staffing agency waiting for a possible warehouse position. This job is so much different than what is in Pastor Innocent’s heart to do but he knows it is the right thing to help provide for his family first. He very much wants the freedom to continue leading others to know and trust Jesus as a Pastor here in Memphis. Pastor Innocent says he is proud to be a pastor and wants us to know that he believes in the Holy Spirit’s power because he has seen it. While we were waiting in an office, he was excited to show me his pastor identification card. (“Do American Pastors have a Pastor ID card?” I don’t know Innocent. Good Question. I have never seen one before.) For now, Innocent will be happy if he can get a job working during the week and Pastoring many refugees and others here in Memphis on the weekends. I reminded him that he can be a light and an example to many even while he is away at work. Please pray for Pastor Innocent and his family. He needs a good job.
Like Pastor Innocent, Asha’s Refuge wants to help refugee parents who have adopted orphaned children during their time of escape. We come across this so many times and are thankful to God that there are so many adults with hearts to help the hungry, innocent and orphaned children they see.
HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF LOCAL REFUGEES BY DONATING TODAY!