As a last resort, I wrote a letter to the President of the United States asking for help for my refugee family in exile in Africa. After all, Joe Biden was very proud of one of his first executive orders made in February 2021 regarding the resettlement of refugees in the United States. I waited four months for his reply which was just excellently scripted political rhetoric that did not address in any way the issue I wrote to him about.
I wrote the following letter to Joe Biden on 9-27-21. His office answered four months later on 1-18-22.
Dear Mr. President,
I would like the opportunity to sponsor a refugee family currently in exile in Uganda for the last 13 years. I have been supporting this family financially for the last 4 years.
With our open borders and our welcoming Afghan refugees, I want the opportunity to fully sponsor my African family. I met them through a writing assignment and we have been family ever since. UNHCR finally recognized them to start the process of coming to the US but since the end of 2019 this stopped thanks to Covid.
The children have not had any schooling for the last two years due to the lockdown there. The situation is most dire for them. I have a church that is willing to sponsor. I personally will let them live in my home and will provide clothes and food. Will you please find a way to allow our sponsorship to get them out of a most horrific situation?
Surely if we can let illegals pour in to our southern border for the last 9 months and we welcome plane loads of Afghans, there can surely be a way to welcome one family who have been waiting and doing things the legal and right way. We would be fully responsible for the cost of getting them here and for their support. Will you help us please?
You may be hearing from Dr. Pingnan Shi who will be reaching out to you on their behalf as well. Dr. Ping has been providing virtual learning and helping to support this very special family. He lives in Greenwood, IN. I live in Indianapolis, IN.
Our African friend Lukendo Mbokani is known as Jerry. He has formed humanitarian organizations to help the Congolese refugees who are in exile in Uganda and he miraculously earned a BS in computer science. He would be a great asset to Indiana.
Will you please show me you are real and that you truly care about refugees and will make a way for my African family to legally come to the US and to be the first to be served from your executive order February 4, 2021 regarding resettling refugees?
Here is his reply which does not address my letter or the plight of my refugee family.
Letters to US Senators and Representatives
I wrote to Republican Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young. I wrote to Democrat Andre Carson who is the US Representative for my district. All of this communication must be done through a form on the websites of the President, Senators and Representatives.
Todd Young thanked me for writing to him about my concerns about the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. But Todd, that is not what I contacted you about. When I wrote back to the email he sent, I received a request to put any issues into the form on his website. But Todd, that is where I started and you sent me a form letter that had nothing to do with the issue I wrote to you about.
Mike Braun sent a notice that a representative would be available at the local library in a 2-hour open forum situation. I was working that day and could not attend. What I wanted was a detailed response to my original letter.
Andre Carson’s office sent a very human and heartfelt reply. They actually did something and reached out to the liaison between the US and the UNHCR and checked on Jerry’s application. It was still stuck in Africa and had not gotten to the US agency which would effect the resettlement. There was nothing more they could do. They did actually read one of my stories which explained how Jerry and I became family. They at least had a face and a story to go along with my plea. They reminded me that less than 1% of all refugees are resettled.
Quite frankly I have never had any hope that politics would solve any real world problem. My friend Dr. Ping encouraged me to go the political route. I had exhausted every other alternative from employing immigration attorneys to joining immigration forums. We have reached out to other countries such as Canada for private sponsorship since the US does not offer any sort of private sponsorship. Even with our support, we were denied.
Our Own Human Efforts
We have tried to get our friends and families to join the fight and help with support. A few have been beautifully generous but the vast majority of people could care less about a refugee in Africa. I can truly understand. It was not until God brought me this family and directed my involvement with them and I got to know them personally that I care this deeply and want desperately to help. I see they are no different from me. They have the same hopes and dreams and we share the same belief in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Ping got involved after hearing my desperate pleas to God in the weekly prayer group we were in together. He started virtually teaching Jerry’s kids who were in lockdown. Dr. Ping and his church provided rent for a small community center and he taught one of the students (who successfully completed the year-long program) to be the teacher for others in the community. Dr. Ping was teaching them to fish. He also provided the shirts you see on Jerry’s children and my grandchildren.
Blocked at Every Turn
We seem blocked at every turn. My income has gone away and I have not been able to support them financially since May of 2021. Covid has halted the resettlement process and kept the children at home without schooling for two years. The lunacy of the 2021 year of Biden and the demise of the great United States of America is heartbreaking. Politicians are of absolutely no help. They have their own agenda and it is not to help the people who they work for. On the surface our prayers seem to have gone unanswered, but we serve a powerful and mighty God and I believe He is orchestrating a solution to be the biggest humanitarian effort ever managed by the meek and done on earth. Meanwhile, my African family is hungry and they will go without food in order to put their kids in school.
Praying for a Miracle
When Jerry told me how excited the kids were to be back in school after two years, I asked where he got the funds to do this. He said, “I don’t have funds. I sent them to school and I am praying for a miracle.” You can be the arms of Jesus to help provide this miracle PayPal.me/GPJStoryteller.
Get to know my African family and fall in love with them as Dr. Ping and I have.
Here is the series with a video interview listed at the end:
Polly Riddell writing as G. Polly Jordan connects people and the stories they tell. Be open to the opportunities that come your way as you never know what plotline the Lord is crafting.