We wrapped up today with a late afternoon visit with some friends in the refugee camp. It’s been a joy to get to know them over the years and conversation is rich.
We sat together outside of the shelter of a Somali mother who’s been separated from her children for more then 20 years. Her kids happen to live in Minneapolis (where IAFR is based). We’ve been praying for years that God would open the way for her to be reunited with them.
She was quick to supply everyone with a Coke or a Fanta as we arrived.
Another friend is a brilliant Somali leader whose been offered a full ride from Princeton University. He is also an elected leader in the camp, serving a neighborhood of about 20,000 refugees.
Another friend is from DRC. She’s a talented and hard working tailor whose skills are often contracted by NGOs and visitors to the camp. A documentary featuring her life and work was released earlier this year.
Jenny (daughter of South Korean immigrants to the US) and George (Greek) and I (American) added to the diversity of the circle.
I love how conversation goes deep quickly when we come together. We spoke of hopes and challenges. One of the biggest challenges they shared was living in a space that will not permit them to put down roots. So they cannot own land, move freely or begin to truly rebuild their lives here. I doubt any of us who have a sense of belonging to a place can comprehend what it is like to live in a world that withholds it.
Some heavy burdens were shared, so we prayed together. The challenges they face can only be overcome with the help of God.
When I thanked the tailor for joining us today, she quickly replied, “I wouldn’t miss it!”
Neither would I.