What do you do while you wait to meet someone who doesn’t speak your language or understand your culture? Do you stand anxiously at the bottom of the escalators crumpling a sign with their name on it in your hand hoping it will go smoothly? Do you look around you knowing that not everyone in the airport will feel comfortable seeing a Muslim family arrive? Do you pray hearts soften and walls fall?
You are the first person this individual has met in America. They will trust their life and their families life with you as you buckle their baby into a carseat and you drive them to their new home. Little do they know that this was the first time you’ve installed a carseat or that it took you 20 minutes to do so. Little do you know this is the first time they’ve seen a carseat. The baby will look at you with curious eyes and you will make faces, hoping to get a smile. You and the child’s mother will bond over trying to keep the baby from crying. Laughter is loyal to all languages.
As you drive with this expectant mother and her young baby in your car you pray for safe travels. The baby starts to fuss, but you don’t know how to tell the mother that it’s ok and you don’t mind….so you drive, silently. As you drive the mother sings her baby a lullaby in Dari. You don’t know the words, but even you are soothed by the sweet sound of a loving mothers voice.
When you finally arrive to their new home it’s a tiny apartment in an area that is less than desirable. Then you remember that they spent the last two years in a refugee camp waiting for this apartment to call their very own. As you unload their five small suitcases knowing they contain all of their possessions you realize just how comfortable your life is and you thank God for it.
You drive away conflicted. You are full of joy and hope for this family, but you know their journey will be hard and their path long.
I never expected to learn so much or to have so many questions through this World Relief volunteer opportunity, but I cannot wait to dive in further. Many thanks to all of you who are praying for these families and are praying for me on this journey.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”