It is painful to see newly arriving refugees being used as political pawns these days. As we continue to work with more and more of these families here in Houston, I am reminded regularly that these people didn’t want to leave their homes but had to! A Syrian man shared in his broken English, “bomb, bomb, bomb everywhere. Don’t know our family.” He was trying to tell me that in Homs there was constant bombing and they had to leave not knowing where many of their family members are or even if they are alive. An Iraqi man who worked as an electrician in the “Green Zone” of Baghdad said that people came to his home looking to kill him because of his involvement with the Americans. He came home to find his wife’s throat cut and his little girl’s leg sliced open. Both survived but have physical and emotional scars reminding them of the horrifying ordeal.
I recently went to deliver a food basket to a new Iranian family. As I got to the door I noticed that a copy of John 11:25 was taped to the door. (Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live. NRSV) I entered, introduced myself and gave them the basket. I had barely taken off my shoes at the door, when the wife said something to her husband in Farsi. He stated that this is truly a blessing and his wife would like to pray. They had me hold their hands around this small basket of food as she began pouring her heart out to God in her native language for the next ten minutes.
After a brief time getting to know each other, the husband shared their story. Growing up as a Muslim, he never felt close to God. After much searching he was able to get a copy of the Farsi New Testament from the “black market” and began to read the Truth. After a long journey of searching for meaning, he and his family were smuggled into Turkey and there they both found Christ. After several years there they were accepted by the UN to be resettled in Canada, but at the last minute it was changed to Houston. He told me that God has brought them to their “Promised Land”. They never thought they would have such freedom to share their faith openly as they do here. He has in just a few weeks already been sharing with many Internationals who he has come in contact with as well as some “Americans”. He asked me, “Why do Americans take all of these freedoms and their faith for granted?”
I can't help but wonder why as well.....