By Mike Bergman
I was excited to be part of Immigrant Hope through Mission to Our City. Why? Because God has given me the spiritual gift of hospitality, and thus I want all people to feel loved and wanted. I’m drawn to refugees & immigrants, knowing they can feel marginalized and unwanted. Plus it’s super interesting (and often heartbreaking) to hear their stories.
During MTOC, I met several folks with fascinating journeys as we shared a meal and discussed the citizenship test. Each one tells their story of separation and heartbreak with simultaneous sadness and gratitude, knowing there’s a better future for them here in the U.S. For example:
- Hamid comes from Sudan (north), and for years they separated him from his wife & kids before they too could come to the U.S.
- Mohammad came from Somalia, and he spent 10 years at a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the U.S. He’s still waiting for his wife and kids to receive approval to come to our country
- Sherihan is from Egypt and came to the U.S. via the UAE. Her Egyptian husband was already here, and she was pregnant with their first child. She made it, and they are getting established as a family
While their experiences are different, each of the immigrants seemed thankful to be here and for the opportunity to pursue life and liberty.
It feels like a tremendous privilege to love these folks with the love of Christ, to get past the language and cultural barriers and see how we’re all human, searching for love, meaning, relationships and strength to fulfill our roles as parents, spouses and children of God.