“I am urine.” Carefully and tentatively I enunciate the unfamiliar sounds. My language tutor’s mouth twitches as she tries to keep a straight face. Politeness and honor are part of her country’s language culture. Trying hard not to laugh out loud, she then tells me what accidentally came out of my mouth while practicing verb declensions.
My refugee friends are teaching me what it means to seek the well-being of the city that has become my home.
In the midst of a challenging year for all of us worldwide, we at IDEAS are continually moved by the good God is doing through our Associates, projects, and partners around the world.
I have heard that people near the end of their lives often have regrets. What they regret is what surprises me. Those who are dying don’t nearly regret the things they had done as much as the things they hadn’t done. In spite of regretting their mess-ups in life, they regretted even more the things they never tried.
Delicately my friend sets a well-used plastic shopping bag in front of us on the floor. We’ve been sitting for a while on a piece of folded old carpet and drinking strong tea out of miniature glasses. The plastic bag is stuffed with old photographs.
Wearily, his mom leaves the family’s one-room home at the bottom of the apartment building to walk to the store. Her preteen son quietly sneaks out the door and peeks around the building corner to make sure that his mother is not turning back for something she forgot. He already knows that his father is away.
Because IDEAS works in over 13 countries to restore hope in marginalized communities, we’ve seen a few airports. . . and we’ve eaten at a few airport restaurants!
"So, why should I join IDEAS?" I love this question. In fact, I never get tired of it because it is the exact question a possible volunteer or long-term Associate should be asking.
Recently while in Jordan visiting some of our IDEAS Associates, I was reminded of practical ways to be a respectful guest while visiting or working in a country outside the U.S. Here are some travel tips that will make you a welcome guest.
We asked an IDEAS Associate, who recently began working with our refugee project in Cyprus, to share how serving refugees has transformed her life.