New Friendships and Dinner- Life with My Refugee Friends

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Last Friday evening was one of those moments I wish could last so much longer. I visited my Mandean friends from Iran and was joined by my friends Daniel and Bailey from church. For me the evening was magical. The picture is of the dinner that I was totally blessed to enjoy. πŸ™‚

The youngest daughter of the family has a dream of studying to become a Dental Hygienist. That may not sound like a big deal to people who live in the western world, North America and Europe, but it is a huge deal for her. Because she was not part of the religious majority in Iran, she could never hope to study at a university let alone to study for a career in any part of healthcare. Her people group was oppressed and severely discriminated against.

It has been my privilege to get to know her, her mother, her father, her sister, and her sister’s family. It has been a huge blessing for me to help my friend in little ways to pursue her dream.

My friend Bailey from church is a Dental Hygienist. so their friendship has a natural common ground. So Bailey, her husband Daniel, and I visited for dinner last Friday. It was a wonderful evening of good food, friendship, laughter, and fun.

We had appetizers that alone would have been a meal. Then we had kebab, rice and chicken for dinner. After dinner, we talked which allowed to my friends to get to know each better. We played cards and had fun.

One of the most poignant moments I have experienced recently came when Bailey told the daughter she would help her if she can. Tears welled up in the mothers eyes. I can’t imagine how it felt for her after years of oppression to hear someone say they would help her daughter with her educational goals.

Friday evening was one of those moments I wish I could freeze in time as I watched my friends from church get to know my friends from Iran. It was moment that felt like this is why I am still here, why Jesus gave me more time in this life and led me to the ministry and work I do with refugees.

It was also a moment in time that was a powerful example of how what we may consider to not be a big thing to us, at least as far as what it would require us to do, may very well be a huge deal to someone else.

It makes me think of what Mother Teresa said:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

I know my friends Bailey and Daniel and have no doubt they prayed for my friends from Iran. I know their love for my Iranian friends is genuine. I know they are people I love and I enjoy doing the little things I can for them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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