Scott and I have been blessed to be a part of a wonderful small group in our church. We meet weekly to hang out, study God’s word and eat some really great desserts!
Over the past six months, our grouped has also started ministering to a refugee family here in Ft. Worth. They attend the Swahili service at our church and need help adjusting to life here in the US (that’s actually an understatement). They were in a refugee camp in the Congo for 10 years. I’ve read a little about life in a refugee camp and I can’t comprehend just how bad it probably was for them. Their mother died (we think during childbirth) while in the camp, leaving Norbert (the dad) with five children.
When our church first heard about this family they went to their apartment and literally found roaches everywhere. One volunteer said they were like a blanket on the floor, in the beds, and all in the food. The kids rooms smelled like urine and there was no food in the cabinets. A big group went in and literally fumigated their apartment and cleaned it as best they could. Our church furnished them with furniture, bedspreads, pots and pans, cleaning supplies, food, etc. But this was only the beginning. What this family needed was someone to come along beside them and show them HOW to clean, HOW to grocery shop, HOW to cook, HOW to use a washer and dryer…basically, HOW to live. The easy thing to do (for me anyway) is just throw money at them and walk away. Give them things and walk away feeling good about myself. The harder thing to do is give them our time, but that’s what this family so desperately needs.
So, we go over and hang out with them once a week. We help with homework, filling out forms, cooking dinner and anything else that might come up. We had a little Christmas celebration with them and this really seemed to take our relationship to a new level. We had them over to one of the couples homes and ate dinner, opened gifts, and talked a lot about the differences in our cultures.
Here is Amos really enjoying his meal.
Mandolini really wanted some Hello Kitty shoes. She was so excited to open them, she didn’t even care that they didn’t fit. I had to convince her to let me take them back to the store to get a different size.
I don’t care what culture you come from, a little girl just wants a pretty dress. This made her so happy.