Working with Refugees

General Christian Theology
Bootstrap
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Affiliation: Kingdom Christian

Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:31 am

JimFoxvog wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:He responded with a strongly worded no. He still has family in Iraq, and he knows about the metadata that can be extracted from pictures.

It is important to respect a "no". It's good to pass on the risk of metadata in sharing digital pictures But it is good to know and share that the metadata can be removed. Here's one page explaining some ways: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-ways-to-remove-exif-metadata-from-photos-and-why-you-might-want-to/


True - and I know how to remove metadata. But there's still a worry about someone seeing and recognizing his face. I'm not going to push this with him, his concern is obvious.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:47 am

We had a prayer meeting yesterday, organized by World Relief Durham and a local church.

You're Invited to:

Refugee Prayer Night

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. -Psalm 121:1

World Relief Durham invites you to join refugees and those who stand with refugees for a time of guided and silent prayer. We will spend an hour seeking God’s face in light of the recent changes to the refugee resettlement program in America. All are welcome, however, childcare will not be provided.


I'm not good at guessing crowd size, but we stuffed a small church. We started with 5 minutes of silent prayer, followed by contemporary worship songs led by two guitars. After that, the leader of World Relief Durham outlined the contents of the Executive Order, without commentary and without mentioning any people. Then the pastor stood up and said that we are here to seek God's face and to pray for refugees, emphasizing that this is not a time to criticize any political figure or group, but to stand for refugees in prayer. He asked people to stand and share a prayer or a scripture, and people did that for about 30 minutes. Some of the people who prayed were refugees, one prayed in heavily accented French, I'm guessing he came from West Africa. Some of the prayers were for our leaders and for their wisdom. Most of the prayers were for refugees, and that we be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus here in Durham.

50 families that were coming to Durham are now blocked. They had us divide into small groups, handing us each a sheet with the a description of a family - first names, nationality, age and gender, where they are right now - and asked us to pray for this family in our group.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:30 pm

On Monday evening, my wife and I visited a family with 5 children, and a full time missionary from Egypt was there with them helping kids with homework with a friend. We spent the evening with them talking, and took advantage of the translator to learn a lot more about their background and how they came to be here.

After that, they were talking about how horrible the Islamic extremists are, and the missionary shared about a time that she had visited three families who told her that ISIS had visited them and insisted that the men grow out their beards, but the men refused. The next time she visited them, these women said that their husbands didn't come home, and when they went looking for them, they found them hanging on crosses, crucified.

The mother of the family responded, saying that they had been forced to watch two public executions, including a beheading. She was outraged that anyone would do this in the name of Islam.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:32 pm

World Relief Durham did an interview with the two fathers of the families we are working with.

https://vimeo.com/202998597

Ahmad, the barber, cut my hair the last time I visited him. He did a great job. Fortunately, there was a woman who could translate so I was able to tell him how I like my hair ...
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:08 am

Had a interesting experience yesterday talking to a Muslim. I was trying to install an Arabic display on a cell phone, so I drove one of the refugees to a coffee shop where we could have wifi. He saw a restaurant with Arabic letters on a sign near it, and suggested we go there because someone might be able to interpret and perhaps someone might know about installing Arabic on a cell phone. We went in, had some Turkish coffee, and one of the men behind the counter spent about 45 minutes talking to us, translating, discussing various phones and cell phone plans that I put up on my laptop screen.

At one point I talked with the guy who had been translating, and the political climate came up. He said it was very tense and difficult, and said "Arabs are the new niggers", meaning that he feels intense prejudice against him. He then looked at me and said, "we're in North Carolina, this is the Bible belt, you wouldn't believe how many Bible believing Christians there are".

I said, "You know, I'm a Bible believing Christian, and that's why I'm working with refugees. And I'm terribly sorry if Christians are treating you this way." He looked very surprised, then said, "Christians like you are a blessing". He walked over to the man I came in with, pulled out his wallet, and counted out enough money for a new cell phone and a month of service. They went back and forth, the refugee refused it 3 times, then accepted it gratefully. I thanked the translator profusely. He thanked me.
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Josh
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Re: Refugees

Postby Josh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:15 am

I find comparing the experience of Arabs (who are not disadvantaged as a whole, tend to be wealthier than black Americans, tend to be educated, etc.) with a people who experienced slavery for a century, to be quite offensive.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:55 am

Josh wrote:I find comparing the experience of Arabs (who are not disadvantaged as a whole, tend to be wealthier than black Americans, tend to be educated, etc.) with a people who experienced slavery for a century, to be quite offensive.


If you were in the room, looking at him face to face, I bet you wouldn't say that.

Are you really implying that there is not significant hostility and suspicion toward people speaking Arabic in my part of North Carolina? Suppose you were an Arabic speaking immigrant in America listening to the news every day. Would you think that there might be significant hostility and suspicion toward people like you?

As a Christian peacemaker, how should I respond to this with the Samaritan neighbor right in front of my face?
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Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?

Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:48 am

Request for the moderators - could this thread be moved *out* of Current Events and Politics, since it is about working face to face with refugees in my city? And could the title be changed to "Working with Refugees"? I'd like to make it really clear that this thread is not intended to be a political one.
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Josh
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Re: Refugees

Postby Josh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:55 am

Bootstrap wrote:As a Christian peacemaker, how should I respond to this with the Samaritan neighbor right in front of my face?


I often hear people express the opinion that they are oppressed in some way all the time. I do my best to listen, even when their comparisons are quite offensive and are not realistic at all.

If I have an opportunity to share the gospel, I do so by sharing how Jesus taught that we are blessed when we are oppressed, and it gives us a chance to love our enemies.
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Bootstrap
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:59 am
Affiliation: Kingdom Christian

Re: Working with Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:27 am

Interesting update.

I shared this same story on a mailing list for those who work with refugees. One of our pastors thought he recognized the man from my description, knew his name, and said he had been playing basketball with him with a group and sensed a degree of openness in him. I confirmed that this was the same man (I asked his name yesterday in the restaurant). He is going to see about reaching out to him.

Prayers would be very much appreciated.
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