Anne Edelen Story
Watching the news a few years ago, I was ashamed when I watched a local story about some angry people planning to head to DFW Airport to protest against a few refugee families being brought by the federal government to settle here as part of a larger resettlement program. Many who had already traveled through multiple unwelcoming countries in their search for a peaceful refuge from their war-torn countries had settled in cities to our north. I was stunned. I thought the story was going to focus on welcoming them after all they’d been through. My heart broke when I imagined that instead of open arms and kind faces, they would experience more of what they were already escaping.
The next morning I began calling to find out what gate the refugee families would be arriving at, or what refugee organizations were the ones helping them resettle. I could not find any answers, and neither did I see many listings as I googled my way through the Internet. No one seemed to have any information on who these people were even though it was one of the evening’s top stories. Then I happened across a group serving a huge existing refugee community in Vickery Meadow.
I contacted the group to discover “Reading Circle”. As a teacher I felt that it would be a terrific way to help these kids who had missed much schooling and were struggling with language issues to keep up in school (an environment where it is hard enough to be in any way different, much less immense ‘cultures apart’).
And so now each Monday we arrive off Holly Hill Drive, pray that God will bless the lives of each child we’re privileged to be with that evening, and off we go into their community to collect the kids from their various apartments. And it’s pure joy that we encounter at each stop. Some are so excited to arrive for the evening that they come early on their own so they get time to just be kids, and have a game of hide and seek before we get started. Some want a piggy-back ride or to skip back to the center, where we always begin by just visiting with them and learning about how their week went. I’ve had the pleasure of working with two sweet girls this year. Omaidah and Hung… both treasures.
I admit I’ve had to fight tears as they occasionally speak matter-of-factly about how they ended up in this place. In their short lives they’ve sometimes encountered things I couldn’t dream of experiencing and survived. And it seems all they desire is to be a kid. Our part is to help make the ’school’ part just a little easier. To help them know they have a friend in me. And in us. And in Jesus
We would love for you to join us at Refugee Resources as a volunteer, prayer partner or through your financial gift. You may learn how at these various links: