It is September 29, 2018, day eight of sharing. I am writing a bit each day about my thoughts, motivations, ideas and dreams. Today I am writing about refugees, specifically ones that I have relationships with. As some of you know, I started meeting refugee families in San Diego just over two years ago. Before that, I had seen images of refugees on the news that were both heartbreaking and overwhelming, like the imageĀ here of Alan Kurdi. Alan was three when he lost his life . He was on a boat to safety, a boat that came under heavy waves moments after it left Turkeys shores in August 2015. This image haunted me for a long time, and still does today. Its an image that motivates me to action, and motivates me to empathy.

It was one year later that I met my first Syrian family. I was asked to drive a few boy’s from a nearby city to a “Welcome to San Diego” party that some of us were throwing for the Syrian community. I had butterflies in my stomach when I pulled up to the apartment where these Syrian families were staying. They hopped into my car, put on some Arabic pop music and off we went. We headed to the beach in San Diego where we were throwing the party, over 100 Syrians attended.

Since then I have met many Syrian families. I now have Syrian uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters. We have celebrated together, camped together, had emotional conversations together and grown in strong relationship. It has been an honor to have these Syrian brothers and sisters in my life, one that I see as a gift to me from God.

Three times a month my family and I meet with a small group of Syrian boys and a few people that volunteer with me. We are currently going through the fruits of the spirit that Jesus taught about in Matthew. We have short times of conversation, followed by times of fun, food and a bit of craziness. I am committed to these boy’s, and their families. I have learned so much from them, and hopefully they learn bit from me as well. This youth group is more than just a few people who hang out, It is a representation of equality and Gods heart. Male, female, brown, white, Irish/Canadian, American and Syrian all in relationship with each other. The reason we hang out is simple, its to create a safe space that these boy’s can be themselves, and have adults in their lives (other than their parents or teachers) who care for them and are committed to their success.

Some of you asked how you can be involved, well to be honest we need your financial support. Each week costs approx. $60. We meet three times a week, so that is around $175 a month. Would you be willing to sponsor a month of our gatherings? This goes towards gas, food, events (We went to their first ever movie in the USA last week), birthday gifts, and parties. You can give through Steps of Justice, the non-profit I run. If you can’t do a month, could you sponsor a week? We won’t send you pictures, we won’t put your name on our shirt (we still need to make youth group shirts, if you know of a good designer), but we will have an amazing time, and you will be participating in that for sure.

Alright, thanks for taking some time to read today. Have a great rest of your weekend, and feel free to share this.

Peace

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