3 Ways Immigrant Women Leaders Can Connect With Their New Communities and Support Families Back Home
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Relocating is never easy but moving to another country is even harder — especially when you’re leaving loved ones behind. However, these tips from NY Women of Purpose will help you to connect with your new community and grow in your faith while maintaining relationships with loved ones back home. Read on to learn how to meet other like-minded women in the U.S., make a difference in your new community, and offer financial support to your family and friends in your home country.
1. Volunteer in the Community
As a new resident of the United States, volunteering in your community is one of the best ways to meet other women leaders, expand your professional network, and make a difference both globally and locally. Visit VolunteerMatch to search for cause areas that matter most to you, whether it’s faith, hunger, immigrants, veterans, or the environment.
Some examples of places to volunteer your time and skills include:
2. Connect With NY Women of Purpose
In addition to volunteering your time and skills, another great way to connect with your new U.S. community is to meet and build relationships with other like-minded women who walk with the Lord. NY Women of Purpose, for instance, provides many opportunities for Christian women leaders to come together across various denominations and walks of life — thanks to its Sectional Women’s Spring Events, Women of Purpose Conference, and other events and projects.
To get involved with NY Women of Purpose, join the Sister Tribe to help out with everything from writing and graphics to technology and sales. You could also visit the website of the New York Ministry Network(NYMN) to search for Assemblies of God (AG) churches near you. In addition to their weekly worship services, many churches offer prayer groups, bible studies for children and adults, adult Sunday school classes, family nights, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to get involved.
3. Maintain Relationships With Loved Ones Back Home
You may have immigrated to the U.S., but you can still support and connect with your loved ones back home by sending them handwritten cards and letters, using a money transfer service to support them financially, and chatting with them via WhatsApp. If you’re new to using communication tools such as WhatsApp, Jackie Dove and Paula Beaton of Digital Trends offer some tips for using the App to chat with loved ones, send photos and videos, and keep in touch with family back home.
If you’re looking to offer financial support to family and friends back home, you can use safe, affordable, and reliable money transfer services such as Remitly to transfer funds to more than 18,000 locations around the world. If you have family in the Philippines, for instance, you can quickly and affordably send fundsto those loved ones — and all you need is an email address and a credit card, debit card, or bank account. Depending on where you’re from, Remitly can also be used to send money to countries such as Colombia, Taiwan, Vietnam, or Uganda.
A Few Final Words... Wherever you are in your walk with God, the United States provides many opportunities for women leaders to connect with their new communities, grow in their faith, and maintain relationships with loved ones back home. Before you know it, you’ll be making a difference locally and globally — and building your faith as a Christian woman in America.
Are you ready to live with more purpose, passion, and joy? Connect with NY Women of Purpose at 716-934-7025, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by joining the Sister Tribe.
Whether we realize it or not, we owe so much in our lives to military service members, veterans, and their families. These brave men and women have served our country so that we can live a life of peace and stability. Why not take a few minutes out of your day to show your appreciation and gratitude for these brave individuals? Thanks can go a long way, particularly in a time when we all need a little extra TLC.
If you’re confused about where to start and how you can help, don’t worry. NY Women of Purpose is here with a few suggestions to get you started.
Volunteer Your Time There are numerous veteran outreach programs that you can reach out to for volunteering. Check out this handy list of veteran organizations by STEPS. Here, you can check out places you can volunteer in your area and join the 610,000 volunteers who volunteered countless hours of their time to support our troops. If you’ve been looking to volunteer and don’t know where to start, this is the perfect opportunity! Spend time with our vets and their families - hear their stories, share laughter, and brighten their lives. It’s a great way to give back to your community.
Lend a Hand Completing odd jobs and tasks for your troops and their family is another effective way to help them. Many vets struggle with adjusting to post-military life, with symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and other health issues. This can seriously hamper day-to-day functioning and make it hard to get household chores completed. You could lend a helping hand by offering to ease their plate a little bit: walk their dog, cook them dinner one night, offer to babysit - the options are endless, and the most effective way to give thanks is with action.
Find Ways to Connect According to a study in the Psychotherapy and Counseling Journal of Australia, empathy is key to connecting with another individual and validating their experience. Make space for veterans to share their expertise, as talking through their journey can be a unique form of healing. You could also connect by sending them emails, letters, and other forms of correspondence to keep them occupied. In addition, this article in Occupation Medicine reports that loneliness is the number one complaint most vets have of civilian life, so connecting with them can help ease feelings of social isolation as well.
You can also encourage veterans around you to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. This will increase job prospects while utilizing the many skills they picked up in the training and military camp. The best part is that online degree programs offer you the flexibility to manage work, school, and daily life, as well as explore numerous industries. Be sure to check in with your new service troop friends every once in a while to keep that connection going for the long run.
Donate If you don’t have a lot of time to give, why not be creative with fundraising and donating? The act of giving back is one of the most effective and meaningful things you can do for our troops. Find an organization near you that you could donate to or start fundraising campaigns online. You could raise money through social media, selling old belongings, or through your side hustle. GoFundMe is an excellent grassroots platform that helps facilitate organic reach. Browse through the website to find a family, individual, or story that strikes a chord with you. From there, it's as simple as donating to that specific cause or mission.
The best way you can support your troops is to attempt to understand their experience. Going through intensive training and then readjusting to civilian life can never be easy. But our troops make it look effortless - so why not pause a beat to acknowledge their hard work? We hope this article gave you great inspiration to support your troops - and don’t forget to thank them for their incredible service while you’re at it.
Have you always wanted to ‘be real, live free, and live with purpose?’ NY Women of Purpose can help you achieve this goal! Our mission is to touch the lives of women worldwide by spreading the word and faith of Jesus Christ. Check out events happening soon or browse our blog for more informative content.
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"Rhonda Uderhill, who committed herself to a healthier lifestyle after her husband, Pete, suffered a heart attack at 54. She now loves going for nature walks, kayaking, and tennis. She created getwellderly.com to share her passion for diet and exercise with other people her age. Today, Rhonda and Pete are both 60 and training for their first marathon."
This was not an average vacation. Our thought as two pastors, husband and wife, was to go away and spend precious time together. Life sometimes becomes as if you are two ships passing in the night due to the busyness of life and ministry. This was to be about working on the disconnect that so often happens. It was Valentine's Day while away, and he, unbeknownst to me, had planned to have a photo shoot done for our 35th anniversary. For a man who will tell you himself that he is not a romantic, he did a pretty great job of surprising me! We spent the entire 2 weeks together talking about family, ministry and life in general. So why say "not your average vacation?"
I also reconnected with some spiritual truths or at least sights that precipitated me doing some contemplating about my Christian life.
When we first met with the photographer who would do the shoot, my eyes immediately went to her workspace. Although amazingly small, she had a huge poster on her file cabinet. I cannot tell you everything it said, but I noticed right away in bold letters the word BLESSED across it with a scripture verse. My first inclination that she was a Christian. I immediately questioned her about it and an entire story poured out. Denise, who is from the Philippines, spoke of a broken relationship that she had learned countless lessons from, the main one being that she knew she was unequally yoked. It ended but God then brought about an encounter with a young man who was a worship leader at a local church. She is now engaged and is centrally focused on what God has for them together. I was thrilled to find out that on the cruise ship there is a Bible study held each night for all of the staff who want to participate. A lifeline at sea! So the first lesson is that sometimes a simple display of our beliefs can bring about a conversation. Yes, we were already Christians, but how do we know what dialogues may take place on a daily basis if we display our connection with Christ in a place where all can see? In our workplace, in a piece of jewelry, anything that brings about inquiries can open a door.
Secondly, I learned to pray for others within my view. We had a day of downtime before we would fly back home so we drove to a local mall. I had purchased an inexpensive bracelet there before leaving for our trip and it had broken. Thankfully, the lady offered to replace it so I picked out a new one and made my way to stand in line. There were two women standing in front of me but to my surprise, I was hearing the voice of a man. It sounded as if it was coming from the floor and my thought was that obviously there was a man looking for something on the floor. As I glanced down, the view was of a man with no legs perched on a skateboard. Right away, I noticed his smile. Immediately, the Lord spoke to me to pray for him.
When we were at one of the ports, I had the opportunity for the first time to walk into a Louis Vuitton store. I am like almost any other woman. I love pocketbooks and jewelry. Never much of a shoe hoarder because of my bunions. I'm all into comfort these days. Anyway, after walking in as if I had the money to do so, I looked at a small purse much like one I had viewed a couple of weeks ago at a Kate Spade outlet. The Kate Spade one was $280.00. This one was $4230.00. I have a purse at home designed by Cristiano Serrano, which I purchased at Payless for $15.00. I kindly thanked the sales woman for answering my inquiry and walked out as though not interested. Neither the Louis Vuitton or the Kate Spade was in my reach financially, but what stood out was that they, along with the Cristiano Serrano, were all the same size and much the same colors. The only difference was the designer, the name displayed on the front. We tend to do the same with each other. We look on facebook or perhaps at the lady down the row from us at church and begin to size each other up. We think one looks more beautiful, smarter or better off than we. The makeup or the clothing on the outward tends to make us question the designer who created us. We begin to think that maybe we are a lesser brand. But how can we be? We all come from the same designer. I am a designer brand, unique in all my own wonderful ways. As women, it is so easy to be caught up in comparison, etc. My desire is not directed towards how to please everybody else or to wish for them to think well of me (a trap we can all get caught in). It is to be entirely consumed with thoughts of how I can do my Father's will.
"God, break my heart for what breaks yours." Driving back to our hotel, there was a thin man walking in between cars stopped at the red light. He held a styrofoam cup in one hand, extending it towards each driver or passenger as he walked by. I'm from a very small town of only 2500 in upstate New York. That is not a sight you behold every day. In fact, I have always said we can become very complacent when we are not viewing what Jesus sees. My heart broke and I began to cry as the man received no donations and continued his way across the parking lot of a gas station. God, please do not ever let me be insensitive towards mankind. I realize we cannot give handouts every time someone walks by but the purchase of a meal for someone can brighten a day. We are to be ready to show the love of Jesus Christ and the hope He brings. I saw another man carrying a comforter, apparently his only belongings. We don't know the reason someone becomes homeless, whether its's someone who has lost their job or due to mental health reasons. But I do know this...Jesus loves them! I saw a whole world of opportunity to minister in Fort Lauderdale Florida in one morning. There are places like that in New York too. I love what Revelation Church in the Bronx does. They go to a homeless shelter in the Bronx and not only bring testimonies and music but they also brighten the surroundings of that home by painting inspiration all around. Then the ladies are brought to the church and have makeovers, a meal and clothing. There is a runway built with lighting and all the trimmings. As those women strut down the walkway, the smiles that ADORN their faces could light up a room. Amazing! NYSUM, in Astoria, NY under the leadership of president Peter DeArruda and his wife Darleen (who attended Zion Bible Institute with me) are out there all the time doing outreach to the inner city. And while I am on my soapbox, even if you are in a small community, there are ways to do outreach. If we seek, we will find opportunities to minister.
Before we head home to NY, I have already had to deal with some minor issues with ministry this upcoming week. The insight I have gained this week has put everything in perspective though. Entitlement needs to be done away with and time with God has to be increased. It is not about me, it is all about Him! Not my average vacation. I am walking away rested and energized to pursue more of what God has for me to do.