It is with hearts brimming over with joy we announce the truly miraculous arrival of our new POWIR family, Emile and Rosine Rwamuhinda and their children, in Boston! The family landed at Logan Airport today at 2:20pm. During these unimaginably difficult days and circumstances, Catholic Charities and our POWIR Team remained uncertain whether they would actually be able to come until the very last moment.

As we explained in last week’s bulletin, Emile and Rosine and their children fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007, and they’ve been living in a refugee camp ever since. We were notified during the first week of March about the family’s impending arrival, leaving just a few days to organize lists of all the things the family of seven would need upon arrival – everything from furniture to clothes to kitchen items to food – so those needs could be presented to you during the Masses on the weekend of March 7-8. Our POWIR committee was blown away by the generosity of our faith community – by the last Mass on Sunday evening, every item on the list had been taken!

Over the next week and half, despite the ever-worsening issues related to COVID-19 in our community and around the world, volunteers from our parishes provided their time, trucks, and muscle to pick-up the large items at people’s homes, while a steady stream of parishioners arrived at the parishes to drop off the rest of the donations. All the items were tracked, sorted, and packed up by members of the POWIR team, and are ready for delivery once the family’s permanent housing is secured. Our collaborative will give this family the gift of a safe and stocked home to call their own!

For now, the family is being housed in a beautiful, albeit temporary, furnished apartment in Quincy. Their apartment is spacious, clean, and to the delight of the children, equipped with a smart TV in the living room! It is one block from the ocean. Thanks to all of your generous donations, members of the POWIR Team were able to fill the family’s fridge and cupboards with food, and to bring them additional bedding, coats, slippers and socks. The faces of the children at the gift of a brand new soccer ball and basketball was indescribable! In this time of great tension, anxiety and even unrest, the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative is helping to change this family’s life.

Our support does not end here. We are still working to secure their permanent apartment in the next couple of weeks and furnish it with all your wonderful donations. We will help to provide assistance and stability in these very uncertain times, and when things return to normal, we will support them in transitioning into their new lives. We will be helping to find schools for their beautiful children and employment for Emile and Rosine. We will be walking with them every step of their journey, and we will continue to need your help.

There are no words to thank each and every person who has made this happen, but the picture above perhaps says it all!

They’re Here! Some Good News in a Difficult Time…