Anila and Gulfam Emmanuel live in Palatine and are hoping to reunite with their seven family members from Pakistan, who just got their visa application approved after more than a decade of waiting.
Gulfam’s younger brother, Alfred, is a Christian pastor at a church that Gulfam and Anila, along with many others, helped to build. Currently, the church has 400 active members.
Being a Christian in Pakistan, especially a Christian pastor, is challenging and not very safe. Pastor Alfred is working on improving his English and will continue his work as a pastor once in the United States.
“We are praising God that Gulfam and I came to this blessed country and God blessed us with a beautiful son Austin, and blessed us with wonderful church and people at Prince of Peace in Palatine. Now we are thanking God for our families,” says Anila.
Anila’s sister, Umbreen Rafiq, holds an M.A in social science (Political Science) and has been working for 15 years in the development sector (INGOs).
“Being a Christian female in Pakistan is a difficult journey, full of pain and sorrows,” says Umbreen Rafiq. “God answered my prayers and provided me with a great opportunity to come to the United States to rebuild myself and pursue my dreams.”
“Anila and Gulfam are ready to receive their extended family and help them get settled, but have very limited financial capacity to do so. On their behalf, we are asking for financial assistance of $15,000 to cover airfare, rent and living expenses for the first three months,” wrote Pastor Karl in his note to LCC.
The following LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs brought smiles and comfort to the many attending the gathering:
Abner (Bethany Lutheran – Austin, Texas)
Amos (Our Savior’s Way – Ashburn, Virginia)
Anna (Trinity – Toledo, Ohio)
Caleb (Immanuel – Valparaiso, Indiana)
Charity (Brookfield Lutheran – Brookfield, Wisconsin)
Gideon (St. Michael’s Lutheran – Bloomington, Minnesota)
Lila (Beautiful Savior – Mequon, Wisconsin)
Lily (Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd – Old Bridge, New Jersey)
Luke (Christ the Shepherd – Alpharetta, Georgia)
Mercy (Our Savior – Louisville, Kentucky)
Tobias (Lord of Glory – Grayslake, Illinois)