Rachel Schultz Story
I joined Refugee Resources when the refugee crisis began to weigh heavily on my heart. In Leviticus 19:34, God commands His people to “treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and… love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Scripture is full of calls to not only welcome, but actively love the displaced and marginalized – to seek them out as God has sought after us. I knew God cared deeply about the plight of the refugee, but had no idea how much mercy was packed into these invitations to serve – until I met Bibi.
People don’t usually forget Bibi. She has a distinctive personality, and lights up the room like nobody’s business. Most of the time, she’s bouncing off of the walls and talking a mile a minute. Bibi will enthusiastically tell you a story, teach you a new dance move and invite you to her birthday party all within five minutes of knowing you (this is not a joke or exaggeration). She loves singing K-pop in the car, eating grilled cheeses and trying to convince me to get bubble tea.
While many people know Bibi as a super fun #teen, there is a depth to her that far exceeds her years. Bibi fiercely supports her friends and family. Every gift she receives, she shares with her little sister or mother. Bibi’s patient and understanding with others, including me. She’s a talented artist, and when she’s creating, she slows down and becomes completely engaged in bringing something good and beautiful to life. Bibi cares deeply about her education, has big dreams and comes to Reading Circle despite various obstacles and pressures. She is exceedingly generous and asks intentional questions, making those around her feel seen and cared for. Basically, Bibi is kind of a big deal and I could go on and on about her many commendable qualities.
One year ago, the refugee was faceless to me. But in Bibi, the Lord has lovingly replaced that abstraction with a unique, one-of-a-kind person who is infinitely worth getting to know. I get to treasure the image of God in Bibi’s creativity and compassion, and be stoked because the God that created her created me too. I get to have a front row seat to Bibi’s bravery and strength as she and her family navigate life in the United States. I enjoy the crazy privilege of watching her grow not only as a reader and learner, but as a human. Walking with Bibi makes me love God so much more, and I never could have foreseen the joy that would come from being her mentor and buddy. By inviting me into Bibi’s life, the Lord also invited me to savor aspects of His character and to understand the tiniest fraction of the love He has for us as His children. It blows my mind.
Every kid and family in Vickery Meadows is an outrageous gift, worthy of love and pursuit. Friend, don’t miss out on them!