Back in 1997 I had the privilege, along with many others, of helping a family from Kenya settle into living in the US. It was shortly after the American Embassy in Nairobi was bombed and other terrorist activities had recently occurred in Kenya. The head of the family had a student visa and the wife had a green card. Free housing was available for a limited time. They had no savings.
The anxiety of both Mom and Dad, being in a new country with an uncertain future, was beyond intense. As Christians they prayed for help and guidance, but couldn’t help those moments when things seemed hopeless.
The children who were school age started school and I helped Mom get a job. Someone gave Dad a car and opportunities started coming in from people who needed help with home repairs, painting,etc. The school Dad attended was a distance from where the family lived. But people near the school stepped in and gave Dad a place to eat and sleep when he had to attend classes.
All along the line from arrival until Dad completed his Doctorate at a midwest university several years later, people stepped forward and opportunities presented themselves.
After Dad completed his college studies, the family was going to return home. But political developments in East Africa made returning to Kenya a dangerous, life-threatening probability. So they ended up staying in the US..
Now and then Dad and the family came to visit when I lived in that area. Dad told me many times that they could not have made it without my help. I wasn’t the only one. When I came out as transgender, Dad could not accept that. You can’t win all the battles. 🙁 But when the face of the Other presents itself, coming off an airplane, hanging on to a sinking migrant boat, or whatever, the Creator has created us to respond.
Right-wing speech hides refugee realities in the US
Roberta A Westerberg* Skickat från min svenska IPad.🇸🇪