Near the end of my volunteer year with Somali refugees living in St. Cloud, MN, I welcomed a single mom named Budeya and her middle-school-aged daughter to the US. They were refugees from Somalia (by way of Kenya) and were terrified at the prospect of beginning a new life in an isolated apartment with “strange” ways of cooking, sleeping, and speaking.
During a meeting to complete routine paperwork a few days later, I asked Budeya about her dreams for their new life. I’ll always remember her response. “Inshallah,” she said, “my daughter will love all people and help others.”In the 7 years since I first met these beautiful people, I have heard this dream expressed in different languages and by people whose lives are united by the title “refugee” placed upon them after they have fled their homelands. These men, women, and children from the low-lying area of Bhutan to the capital cities of Iraq and Syria all place their hope and trust in a God who has brought them through war and tragedy. With each utterance of “Inshallah” or “Si Dieu Vle,” they are praying the words today’s psalmist proclaims, “But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ In your hands is my destiny.”
In my experience, people who freely trust and recognize the movement of God in their life are, like Budeya, able open their minds and hearts to someone else in need. They hope to serve and help others experience the fullness hope of new life.
- Are you willing to place your absolute trust in God so as to have the freedom to let go of control?
- What new life can we usher into existence when we serve others?
Eilis McCulloh is a Sister of the Humility Mary. She currently serves as a Case Manager at Cleveland Catholic Charities-Migration and Refugee Services. Previously, she has spent time in Haiti and Immokalee, FL. She is finishing her Master’s degree in Theology and Religious Studies at John Carroll University.