A Day in the Life of a Resettlement Supervisor

January 19, 2024

One of my favorite moments of last year, one that provided me with a special experience that brought me back to my “why.” I had the privilege of taking two refugee women from two different families to Salem United Church of Christ’s clothing bank.

One woman, a mother of a family of 11 from Syria, and the other, a mother of a family of four from the Democratic Republic of Congo—three of us shared a reflective silence during the car ride to the clothing bank. A few months ago, none of us could have anticipated this shared journey in my car here in the US. Three different women, three different walks of life and three different languages.

Upon arriving at the clothing bank, the women meeting for the first time, were understandably shy. However, as I encouraged them to shop for their families, their confidence blossomed and quickly warmed up, cheering after the prayer and chatting without speaking each other’s language.

While they shopped, I took a moment to check my work messages and noticed something extraordinary. These two refugee women, one from Africa and one from Syria, collaborated in their shopping. They found a way to communicate without a common language, helping each other select clothing for their families and carrying their new belongings to my car.

Once again, the three of us, women from diverse walks of life, got back in my car. However, their rides home took a different turn. We played music, hummed along and even danced a bit. In one short morning, we created a beautiful memory without uttering a single word. And that’s part of why I do what I do.

Sarah Michitsch is a Resettlement Supervisor with CWS Harrisburg. To learn more about CWS Harrisburg, visit their website.