Saturday, June 9, 2012

Judah and the Twins

Moving away from town means we wrapped up our time as volunteers with refugees through the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Dal Mang said we should bring our camera and take pictures the last week we met together, so we did.

Dal Mang and Niang are expecting another baby girl within weeks. Dal Mang is coming along in his English and his hard work and loyalty has earned him a promotion at the restaurant where he washes dishes. I'm proud of them. Dal Mang is a man of character and faith.

Mary and Elizabeth and Judah have knocked each other over and stolen toys and sometimes played nice and given each other kisses and hugs. It's been great to have them hanging out once a week. The cool thing is that when they enter school they'll pick up English so fast.

Four years ago when I took the train to meet Chan and Tum and begin volunteering with refugees first time, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn't realize just how many refugees there were here, or what the process of entering this society looks like, or how rarely they truly develop friendships with average Americans. I also didn't realize just how much I had in common with them, even just in the type of tiny ramshackle apartments we chose to live in.

I walked away from that first meeting in tears because for both Chan and I, discovering someone that spoke Indo/Malay was a beacon of familiarity and "home" in a world that we were both new in, adjusting to, and feeling lonely. Chan and Tum, Tee Reh and Soh Meh, and Dal Mang and Niang all became friends. I'm so glad God led me to the IRC and the refugee community - my soul needed it.

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