I was returning to a familiar street. The week before I had visited a Kurdish lady and found it so hard to leave her alone. She was lonely, confused and finding it hard to get through each day without fear consuming her.
A week later I had returned. Her previous housemates had been moved on and a new lady had moved in. Walking along the street all the houses looked the same, but something was different. I reached for the door and laughter echoed through the streets. Was that joy?
Two ladies opened the door in hysterics. For a second I felt confused, but then it hit me. Why am I so surprised you are happy?
I have done many Welcome Box visits but never have I been greeted with contagious laughter. Both ladies were Kurdish and had met 3 days before, I asked them both, "Are you okay?" As they washed their faces with cold water to shake off the laughter, they both replied, "Sorry, we haven’t laughed in so long. We forgot what it felt like and now we can’t stop."
In that moment the strength of fellowship became so real to me. I spent time finding out a bit about each of their lives, where they grew up, where they had moved from. I was offered tea and baklava; the sense of hospitality was incredible. I gave both ladies a Welcome Box and explained what services were available for them to receive support, build friendships, learn new skills and find their place in community.
As we left they waved us off in sync. “Thank you, you make me feel like I exist.”
Even though they had lost everything they still gave their all to welcome and serve me. How incredible.
This experience was only possible because of the equipping and training I received as a Welcomer. I want to see every refugee welcomed in every city in the UK. We have the opportunity to bring hope to hopeless situations, the chance to bring colour back into empty worlds and help create a bright future for those looking for stability and community.
Do you want to see lives transformed in your community? You can financially commit to seeing this vision become a reality by donating to our Christmas fund.
Together we can be good news for refugees!
Eve- Communications Officer and Welcomer.