We often focus on personal growth, education, and building our personal brand. While these aspects are important, there is one crucial factor that we cannot fully control – our integration into a community. My husband & I have experienced the transformative power of community first hand & I want to share with you our inspiring journey. From the unrest in Ukraine to finding support and encouragement in various communities up until getting our Green Cards, our Green Story, as I call it, serves as a reminder of the importance of community in our lives.
Our journey started amidst the turmoil in Ukraine in March 2014. Undeterred by the hardships, we embarked on a new path, securing visas to Great Britain with the hope of building a partnership with a Bible School. However, as the situation in Ukraine worsened with the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of a military conflict in Donbas, we were advised against starting a new project in Ukraine at that moment & instead, we were sheltered in England for a few months before we were ready to make our next move.
In June 2014, we headed to the United States, where we were greeted with open arms by a family of our dear American friends in Atlanta, Georgia, who offered us a place to stay. We worked with this family as interpreters back in Ukraine & their acts of kindness provided us with a much-needed sense of belonging and support during that challenging time. Soon after, we received an invitation from our relatives from Sacramento, California, who provided us with everything we needed to pause & recuperate.
Throughout the next part of our journey, which lead me to become an International student in the U.S., different communities kept playing a pivotal role in propelling us forward. We received support and encouragement from a church in Arizona, with whom we had partnered back in Ukraine. This church not only cheered us on but also provided financial assistance and helped with the necessary documents for our student visa application. At American River College, I experienced a warm welcome and support as well got my first job in the U.S. Then, I transferred to William Jessup University & was embraced by another welcoming & supportive community. Meanwhile, my husband found a fulfilling job in a renewable energy plant, which eventually led to our Green Card application.
We were overwhelmed by the support we received from various individuals & communities. It was the belief and recognition of our potential by those around us that propelled us forward. Such acts of kindness and support further reinforced the importance of community in our lives. Our journey is a testament to the power of community. While personal growth and individual efforts are crucial, it is the support, encouragement, and belief of others that can truly propel us forward in challenging times. It’s like the propellers of a ship, pushing us towards success and fulfillment. As new immigrants, we have to remember the significance of community and seek to build and nurture supportive networks that will help us navigate the ups and downs of life in a new country.