Sunday, June 18, 2017

Children's Book Highlights Life Of Refugee Families

This book helps bring the plight of
refugee families closer home
Since one of my current passions is multiplying our giving for war and famine refugee relief through the Fall Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale and directly to Mennonite Central Committee, I was interested in how this latest book, Messages From Maryam, might help promote more generous giving at the September 29-30 event. 

Conversations over the past week have resulted in author Lauren Pichon and illustrator Kendra Yoder offering to make autographed copies available at the Relief Sale for $15 each, with all profits going to MCC. They will also be involved in some children's activities in which Lauren will read parts of her book and Kendra may supervise some watercolor painting.

Pichon, who teaches children of recent immigrants in the Harrisonburg school system, has based much of her narrative on the actual stories of the students she works with. 

Here is Lauren's synopsis:

"Meet Aila and Maryam, two best friends from Mosul, Iraq.  When Aila’s father decides it is time for their family to immigrate to the United States, Maryam is left behind to face the hardships in Mosul alone.  In Messages From Maryam,  the two friends exchange letters, detailing Aila’s stay in a refugee camp, Maryam’s fear of living in Iraq, and, ultimately, their joyous, yet unexpected reunion!"  

If you look under the Videos tab of the author's Facebook page ( you can find a video that Kendra's husband made of her explaining her illustration process.  

I feel blessed to have discovered this local talent, and to sense the compassion these young women have for families of the millions of refugees around the world. Let's give them and their cause our generous support.

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