Stew sales aid Sudanese family

Published 9:40 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Using an enormous metal ladle and an even larger cast iron pot, members of New Life Church and members of a Christian family that recently moved to Cumberland County from Sudan served Brunswick Stew for a fundraiser Saturday.

To view more photos of the event, click here.

Clinton Dalton, who attends New Life and has extensively traveled for missionary efforts, said the process to make the stew began at 2 p.m. the day before the event.

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Proceeds from stew sales will go toward Pastor Hassan Abduraheem and his family purchasing a van for transportation.

Abduraheem and Abdulmonem “Monem” Abdumawla have recently acquired their driver’s licenses and have continued to build new lives in the United States after facing imprisonment for humanitarian actions considered by the Sudanese government as a security threat to the country.

They recently moved to Cumberland County, where they have received assistance from churches throughout the Heart of Virginia, including New Life.

Abduraheem, in between serving stew, thanked participants involved with the Brunswick Stew sale.

“We are thankful for the church and people who are supplying and being there for us,” Abduraheem said.

Ernie Sandridge, who has helped Dalton with missionary efforts, said the stews are often a large fundraising opportunity and taste great to boot. The more than 50 quarts left over from the fundraiser were refrigerated and sold during Sunday’s service.

Inside the church, Pastor Jenny McIntosh finished a women’s group and said she has been happy to see members of the Abduraheem family thrive.

“They have come alive,” McIntosh said, noting the kids were more shy when first entering the community, “it’s so sweet.”

McIntosh said the church’s clothing closet have donated clothing to the family and that Judy Heinold, a member, has brought the family to dentist appointments, the Department of Motor Vehicles and everywhere in between.

She said two English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors at Longwood University are teaching members of the Abduraheem family to speak English.

Phoebe Abduraheem, 20, said she has enjoyed the program and the opportunity to learn about a new culture.

“I like Virginia,” she said, “I like church and people (here).”

Abdumawla said it has been meaningful to see the community’s collaboration in helping their neighbors.

“We really appreciate the community with what they are doing,” Abdumawla said. “Working together … (to) help people who need help.”

Dalton said Sunday that the fundraiser raised approximately $1,500.

Diana Shores, who attends Faith Bible Fellowship and is helping Abduraheem’s family, said for those interested in assisting the family or donating a vehicle to call (434) 569-5664.