A Journey of 3,000 Miles

When you know someone by name, everything changes.

Meet Etni & Reinaldo and their three daughters

The economic collapse of Venezuela made it too difficult to stay – with violence, it wasn’t safe to go to the market or to school. The family of 5 had to leave their beloved homeland.

With small children in tow, they walked for two months to Ecuador, a place they intended to temporarily stay while awaiting papers for the United States. 

But God had different plans. He needed them to help others in Ecuador. For nine years, the family provided shelter, food, and medical assistance to any refugee who needed it. They even cared for people’s pets.

Finally, in August of 2023, it was their turn. With the help of World Relief, Etni, Reinaldo and their girls arrived in the United States and settled in Batavia, IL.

The courage it takes to start all over is incredible; everything is new – even the most basic things like smells and sounds. The girls began school and learning English, Etni found doctors and grocery stores (walking 3 miles to Wal-Mart on Randall Road and then carrying everything home), and Reinaldo looked for work.  

Their family motto is “The key to success is to be grateful to God, during the good times and the bad times.”

The family came to Radical Love in September 2023 – just weeks after arriving.

Their work for helping others continues. They are helping other refugees in our community with finding shelter, sharing meals, providing rides, and praying with and for anyone who needs it. “We have received God’s love over and over again. And we continue to share it with others who are struggling.”

Just like Etni and Reinaldo, at Radical Love we are asking our international neighbors, “How can we help you in your suffering?” We are working to put into practice what Jesus Christ taught through His Church.

Greeting Etni, Reinaldo and their girls at Radical Love, just weeks after they arrived in the U.S.