Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Can I Do?

I was out with my mom last night doing some shopping in the City. I did some groceries at my favorite store which happens to be in close proximity to where our Columbian friends live, so it wasn't a huge surprise to meet Senior R and his eldest son in the grocery store. We received huge grins and a big hug from Senior R. It's special how big a part of our family they have become.

On Sunday, Senoria C told their story of how they came to be in Canada. Or rather -- I should say my SIL told the story after Senoria C wrote it out and my SIL had it interpreted through a program on the computer, and then spent several hours making it readable. It was a struggle emotionally for her to get through it, and a lot of sniffling was going on in the congregation.

It is not a happy or pretty story. I have thought about it off an on all week. My heart aches for them. Strangers in a foreign land with strange customs. A lanquage you don't understand. A country you still love, where the rest of what is left of your family remains. Constant fear for your family left behind.

They are working hard to move forward, but it is a daily struggle. Through it all they display a genuine love and affection for the people who have welcomed them here, and an unwavering faith in God.

God has blessed us with amazing freedom. Freedom to say what we want, when we want, and to whom we want. Freedom to come and go as we please. Freedom to stand up for what we believe in. Yeah, people may shoot us down with unkind words, but not (usually) a gun. Imagine living in fear every single day for your life and for your family's lives simply because you were stepping out in faith and trying to make life a little better for your own fellow human being.

I'm not saying we don't have struggles here in North America because we do, but are our struggles because we chose to stand up for our Lord and our fellow human beings? Most of the time, I think not. I know I am guilty of this for sure. In fact, there are things in my own church congregation that I know go against Biblical principles, but I keep my mouth closed so I don't offend. How can it be an offense if we know that God says it is not right? Our Columbian friends have given me much to think about.

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