Hi, My name is Karin Gunderson and I was recently contacted by a missionary and asked if I would consider teaching English in Albania, to Afghan refugees who are awaiting entrance to live in the U.S. I will be leaving in mid January, and staying there for five months, so they can have a consistent teacher instead of a new one every few weeks. This is extremely important for people who have been through trauma, the upheaval of losing their home, family members, culture, country, and traditions. Many have witnessed unspeakable atrocities.
Ninety percent of Afghan women are illiterate and have been house-bound ever since the Taliban started their reign of terror. Because it has become the norm for them to remain house-bound, they are the ones who have the hardest time assimilating a new language and feeling accepted, as opposed to the men who work and the children who go to school. One of the things that helps them realize they are important and no different than you and me, is taking them out for coffee. This is one way I plan to forge relationships with the women.
English classes in the Albanian refugee camps cover all ages and genders and I am not sure which classes I will be assigned. At this time there are only 8 English teachers for approximately 1600 refugees in the camp where I will be working.
There is no salary associated with this position, and no provision for the teachers' airfare, food, or living expenses, so my goal is to raise a minimum of $5000 before I leave to cover my expenses and also be able to have coffee with the women, and provide necessities they may desperately need and not have available since they can't work and have no cash.
Our church is currently outfitting an apartment for a 10-person family from Afghanistan this week and I hope more families will be coming, so that when I return home I can continue my relationship with Afghan refugees.
I think it is interesting that God has called me to Albania, since our former foster children's mother is from that area and still has family there.
My goal is come along side these Afghan brothers and sisters to be God's light, love, patience, acceptance and support for them in overcoming the great trauma they have been through. Many still live in for fear of their family members who remain in Afghanistan. Will you support them by enabling me to go and love them as Christ loves us? Thank you for your generous hearts and continuing prayers of thanksgiving that God will use me for God's glory in Albania.