Experience is a Doorway, Not a Final Destination- Oswald Chambers

Thursday, February 25

Eritrean Hospitality

I said goodbye to a beautiful family last night. This was the Eritrean refugee family to whom I taught English in Orlando the first year that I was in Florida. Ever since, I have kept in touch and visited on occasion.

Jaered, Heda, Olana, Senayit, Layda, me and my mother

It was a difficult goodbye, especially since I noticed that Jaered (sounds like Yahdred), the father, had lost an extremely large amount of weight. I found out that he had been sick and the doctors do not know what is causing his sickness.

As we caught up and discussed the changes in our lives, Jaered said, "When I heard about the death of your father, I placed my hands over my face and cried. I see your mother in my head and it makes me sad. Tell your mother 'God bless you.'"

Senayit shared with me about how they fled their hometown in Eritrea because of the war there. They crossed the border into Ethiopia and after staying in a refugee camp, were placed in Orlando through a charity organization. I miss my mother in Eritrea very much, she said. I speak to her everyday on the telephone.

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Senayit is a very intelligent woman and was a teacher in Eritrea. "I love mathematics. I taught my native language. But numbers is my favorite." Because of the language barrier, she works in a bakery and Jaered in a hotel.

As I hugged the children and said goodbye to these precious people, I realized that family can span culture and language. God does that purposefully so that we know how big he is and how little we are in the world. Genuineness of spirit and a love for the other can entwine people from across the globe.

I will see this family again. Maybe someday they will welcome me into their home in Eritrea when, God willing, the war is over and they no longer have the title of refugee.

1 comment:

Easy Street said...

Beautiful story, Allison.