Internationals and in particular refugees often need help when they first arrive. Help is rendered for a while and then we may not ever hear from them again. There are a variety of reasons. Many move to the suburbs or even out of state. They become deeply involved in the day to day work of making a life here. Of course we don’t always know how they adjust or the impact we might have had on them as we try to be the presence of Christ each day.
Last week, I received a text from a refugee I had helped soon after his arrival in Houston. He had been here only two weeks when we delivered a welcome food basket to him. He had been a translator for the American military in Afghanistan. It had become dangerous for him to remain there due to his association with the US. I helped him procure some furniture, his driver’s license and enjoyed taking him to a local Afghani restaurant for the first time. Like other refugees arriving in the US, he was a survivor. He was willing to make many sacrifices to begin his new life in such a different country. After purchasing a car, his first job was delivering pizzas. He was determined to make his way. I had not heard from him in quite a long time. And then his text came:
“Hi Sir this is M. A., it's been a while I did not heard anything from you hope you and your family are doing well. I appreciate your all help when I came to America and I tell everyone that how helpful you where to me on the time. I moved to Denver about 2 years ago. Hope all is well with you and hear from you soon...”
This really made my day. I did not do much at all for him. Yet, it made an impact on his life. There are people all around us who just need a little help and to know someone cares. This is one way we can truly love our neighbor and be the presence of Christ.