Congregants at Atonement Lutheran Church are living the Hebrews 13 Bible verse, "Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

And it is because of their hospitality, along with the help of others that Anna and two of her three children were able to flee potential death in Mombasa, Kenya, and move to our area.

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The process was a lengthy one. She left Kenya about "five or six years ago to avoid further attack and potentially death from some radical Kenya extremists" said the church's pastor, Newton Trimmer. At that point, she was unable to bring her children, now aged 13, 17 and 21 and left them with a Lutheran pastor in Kenya, who also provided contacts at a Lutheran church in Florida where she learned English and was spiritually enriched.

Believing she could get aid from a relative in Washington state, she moved but did not find the help she needed which resulted in a move back to the east coast where she found employment as a nanny with a family from Kenya. Under their direction, she connected with a government immigration agency which also aided in her efforts to improve her English and earn a certified nursing assistance certificate.

When her nanny employment ended, she turned to the congregation at Atonement; her Visa had expired and they supported her in her effort s so that she eventually received asylum status, got a Social Security number and a Maryland driving license, found a job as a certified nursing assistant, and bought a car.

Her next step was to reunite with her children. Trimmer said this, "meant more time (nearly a year) and more money before the children received legal entry into the U.S. But only two of the three were able to fulfill all the requirements. The oldest son, 21, had failed the medical entry exam. He can try again but he must wait an additional six months. Atonement will continue to raise additional funds and work with both the U.S. and Kenyan governments in order to bring her son to Parkville as soon as possible."

Mom and the two girls are active members at the church.

The Hebrews Bible verse continues, "remember those who are in prison". And the congregation does. On multiple occasions throughout the year, they handcraft greeting cards for the prisoners hoping to share a message of hope with those who have need. Using old greeting cards, they cut, paste and write inspiring messages for the prisoners while adhering to prison guidelines (no glitter or paint and no names from senders). On the most recent craft day, about eight church members met and made about 100 cards which will be forwarded to Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod's prison ministry for distribution.

For more information or to participate in either of these projects, contact the church at 410-668-3886 or visit their website: http://www.AtonementLutheranWELSBaltimore.org. The church is located at 9121 Old Harford Road.

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