7 Pam Kendall (center), First United Methodist Church

The First United Methodist Church of Evanston is pleased to recognize Pam Kendall as its 2017 Vision Keeper.

At First Church, Pam has a long history of involvement in helping others, creating our Children’s Mission Camp, and raising money for Mo-Dega in Ghana. Most recently, however, Pam’s leadership has focused on the resettlement of two refugee families. Motivated by discovery of her own Syrian roots, Pam brought the opportunity to FUMC’s Mission & Outreach Committee along with her commitment to spearheading the effort. She established a partnership with Refugee One, thoughtfully prepared the congregation, organized a refugee sponsorship committee, and enthusiastically coordinated our participation. When a second family needed support, she stepped forward again and brought us along with her. Reflecting on her experience, she remembers the comment of a family member who noted one of the biggest differences between America and Syria is that Americans smile. Despite the struggles of language barriers, “I realized that a smile is universal. It has the power to melt troubles and differences, even if only for a moment.”

We are so grateful to Pam for enriching our lives in so many ways and especially for helping us to welcome these Syrian families into our midst.