BOOM BOOM BOOM…
“Open the door so I can break your nose and pinch your arm!”
This was the sudden, alarming noise that sent a surge of adrenaline through my body late one night in 1999. I had just moved to Russia and I was living alone in a small, two-room apartment.
And, to be honest, maybe that is not exactly what the angry young man who pounded on my door exactly said. I was just beginning to learn the language. Whatever he was saying, he wasn’t happy and I wasn’t going to open the door. I felt that there was a very real possibility that he would kick the door in, so I started coming up with a plan…. What was my plan?
What does one do as an alien in a foreign land when crisis hits and you can’t communicate?
In reality, your options are extremely limited and you feel like a sitting duck. You are vulnerable.
I was thinking back on this experience as my friends, Jen and Elizabeth, walked behind me on the narrow, rocky path leading through the low-income housing project where our new friends from Iraq live. They are refugees. They don’t speak much English. They are vulnerable. Despite all of that, they are far from useless! While he has yet to find a job, the father is a retired captain in the military, a former player on the national soccer team, and a master in decorative embroidery. The wife is an incredible cook and an excellent housekeeper. Each of the children has unique talents and interests. They are a delightful family.
My friends and I want to help our friends acclimate to life in America. We want to learn about them and about their culture. We want to do all we can so that they will experience an abundant life with a hope and a future. The journey is just beginning and I can’t wait to be a part of it!
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13:1-2
If you want to find out how you can be a mentor for refugees, visit Free City’s website.