Piling their new-found goods into the trunk of my car, he said, “Thank you very much for bringing us.” He said this many times while in the thrift store. Filling two shopping carts with clothing, comforters and a few kitchen items.
This special outing was spent with a brother and sister in their early twenties. But, not just any brother and sister.
A sibling pair landing in my city only a few short months ago – from a refugee camp in Africa. A camp they called “home” for seven years.
They were but young teens when they fled their war-torn African home.
Now, they just have each other. Other of their siblings relocated around the the U.S.. Their parents no longer living. I didn’t ask for details.
This particular shopping adventure was made possible through a voucher system provided by this store.
There’s something goose-bumpy while observing our new immigrants react with such awe.
Often times overwhelmed…at first…and then, reality sets in as they giggle like children on Christmas morning….searching for those needed items. Just the basics at first…”May I have this iron?” Then, reaching for what we recognize as a flower vase, but they see as a beverage glass. The excitement heightens with the reality of how much they can actually select with the “free dollars” allotted.
Comforters for our cold winters.
Jackets and sweaters – the pots, the dishes…
A Budget. A new concept for our new residents.
The brother taught himself English while in the camp. Continually expressing his gratitude over and over. The sister, smiling with obvious delight as I saw her wheels turning with thoughts of setting up a home for the two.
Brother informed me he just landed a job at a reputable business in town. He is beginning to make plans for their future. Earning an income more than he’s seen in his young life time.
Loading their new treasures in the trunk of my car, we chatted of many topics during our drive back to their apartment. At one point I asked, “Do you ever wish to return to your homeland?”
“No,” he answered. “there is much war and troubles. It is not safe to live there any more. This is my home now. There is hope here.”
Yes, a quiet check to my own soul.
This is why they come. Why they have always come.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
Hope. Hope is here.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…Hebrews 11:1
In hope against hope he (Abraham) believed [God]…Romans 4:18
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God…Psalm 43:5
What does hope mean for you? Share in the comments