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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Darfur Refugees in Indiana

This is at the end of the New York Times story, I think it is powerful.
The headline reads: After Darfur, Starting anew in the Midwest

Despite the outpouring of support, there have been challenges for the Darfuri in Indiana. Misunderstandings along cultural lines persist, for instance. Africans who eat with their hands, as is their tradition, might draw stares at buffet restaurants, as might women wearing Muslim headdress while at work assembling auto parts. But in interviews, many immigrants from Darfur said they had found mostly peace.

“This place is quiet and the people are kind,” said Khadiga Abdalla, who left Darfur in 2003 and is studying nursing at a community college. “There is no problem here.”

With the $7.85 an hour she earns working in the plastics factory, Ms. Suliman has created her first real home, a place of safety and, to her, overwhelming abundance. She marvels at the central air-conditioning unit that also delivers heat when she is cold, at her refrigerator stocked with eggs and juice and beans. She is appreciative that the sun and rain do not come through her roof.

Her time in Fort Wayne has been peppered with many firsts: first time wearing pants, driving a car, using a fork, saving money in a bank account, not having to walk two hours for fresh water, being able to eat to the point of feeling full.

“One thing I still have a problem with is the nice food in America,” she said. “I keep the pictures of my family on my refrigerator to remember when we could not eat. It makes me sick. I do not like to remember.”

There is a picture of her husband on the refrigerator, too. They were separated during their chaotic nighttime flight from the approaching militia in the summer of 2005.

We read this last night and it was touching too.

From 1 Corinthians 10 (The Message)

11 -12
These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

14So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

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