General CBF

Celebrating World Refugee Day – Part 4: Welcome to the Neighborhood!

This week at CBFBlog we are celebrating World Refugee Day (June 20) with a series of posts from those within the CBF movement who work and minister with refugees.

Today’s post is from Ashleigh Bugg. Ashleigh is a journalism major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, and is serving this summer in Fort Worth, Texas via Student.Go. Student.Go is a CBF program that provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to serve among and advocate for the most neglected people in our world.

My friend Kelsey and I are working with refugees and youth through creative arts in Fort AshleighBuggWorth, Texas. We just moved into a local apartment complex.

Outside my front door, there are people representing three different continents, over 10 different nations and numerous languages and faiths.

Within a few minutes of meeting us (the two random white girls in the neighborhood), our new neighbors cook us a feast.

A generous Hindu family from Bhutan and Nepal make us a rice and chicken dish with scrumptious spice and soup.

Our Iraqi friends invite us for dinner and dessert, and we have a singing competition (the younger girls love Justin Beiber), and I teach them a few chords on guitar.

Our Nepali boy neighbors spout Texas Rangers statistics until they have to go finish studying for the SAT.

Our friends from the Congo and Burundi help us navigate the nearby Wal-Mart and insist on pushing the shopping cart (although that may be because my 14-year-old friend’s grandpa will never let her push the cart for fear of colliding with someone in the frozen food section).

Afterward, our African neighbors invite us to watch Mulan and eat a wonderful bean and rice dish. We play Uno and Rummikub until they have to leave, promising to pick us up for church tomorrow.

It’s been less than a day and I have already been treated to new friends, food and true hospitality.

Who knew I could be made to feel so welcome in the country I’ve lived in my entire life by people who have known me for all of five minutes and aren’t even from the same continent?

These neighbors may be new to America, but they have definitely made me feel at home.

See also:

Part 1: Celebrating World Refugee DayJune 20, 2013 (Aaron Weaver, CBF staff)

Part 2: Not a Refugee Anymore (Marc and Kim Wyatt, CBF field personnel)

Part 3: Travelling the Refugee Highway (Nell Green, CBF field personnel)

One thought on “Celebrating World Refugee Day – Part 4: Welcome to the Neighborhood!

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