Tuesday, November 9, 2010

REFUGES IN AMERICA - What's Happening Right Here in Oklahoma City!

   Last night Eric and I went down to an apartment complex called Jamie's Landing in downtown Oklahoma City.  In this apartment complex live people from all over the world but mostly from Burma, Sudan and Iraq.  Oklahoma City was chosen to be a hub for refugees running from persecution and war torn countries.  The US government allows a few people to come to the States each year to try to begin a new life.  They are given three to six months of money and then they are on their own.  Heart of God's bootcampers - missionaries in training - spend hours upon hours at Jamie's Landing trying to teach people English, helping them get a job, and enrolling their children in public schools - all tedious tasks if you are a foreigner who speaks little to no English.  There is an English lab at the apartment complex with five computers loaded with Rosetta Stone.  Adults go there to learn and our bootcampers help in the process.  It is beautiful to see.  I was completely moved by it.  As I stood in the complex a Burmese man was standing outside his door wearing his ankle length skirt.  In the apartment behind us, the windows were open and I could smell Asian noodles being made.  An Iraqi woman smiled as we said hello as she walked by.  I was so happy to be there.  I had NO idea such a place existed.  I am happy that our government is doing this.  I hope one day we do it on an even greater scale!  A boy of thirteen lives there and comes to the lab every day.  He is there because he saw between 30 and 40 people murdered one at a time before him.  He's safe now and  housed and fed.  His story is really no different from the rest.  Our bootcampers have worked tirelessly for hours on end since July with the refugees.  They will all graduate in two months and go overseas to begin their work but the people are coming in on planes daily.  This is true foreign work right here in the middle of Oklahoma City.  The joy that it has brought our bootcampers is immeasurable.  They have formed close friendships with the refugees and will miss them so very much when they leave.  We need missionaries to live and work there as their full time job.  It is holistic ministry.  It lights my little fire!

   Then, and this is how God works, I came home last night to my little room at HGM and watched the movie "God Grew Tired of Us."  This is so weird.  I have had this movie probably six months and decided on a whim to pack it and watch it one night on campus in my room.  I had no idea that when I left Jamie's Landing and came home and watched the movie that it was EXACTLY what was happening here in OK City.  I really didn't know what the movie was about.  God moves in such great ways.  He speaks so loudly at times.  Is that cool or what.  The movie is about three young men from war torn Sudan who enter the refugee/relocation program and end up in New York state.  It shows their struggles, their excitement at a new life and their longing to go home.  You should most definitely watch it.

   So that was my last night.  I thought of you the entire time.


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