jeannejacobysmith

My Heart I Give …

Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It

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One thought on “Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It

  1. Finally, my book on Refugees has come to fruition! After many years of waiting, I now have it retyped my book on Refugees, and it is available on http://www.amazon.com.
    The title: “Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and the Church That Helped Them Find It”.
    Thirty years ago, I wrote my book based on our experiences at the Lick Creek Church of the Brethren in Bryan, Ohio. We had resettled a family who escaped Vietnam after the Indo-Chinese War, and I was part of the team that resettled them.
    I found that experience one of the most meaningful of my life. Working alongside our refugees, day by day, we helped them adjust to their new life in America.
    In my book, I found it almost impossible to talk about their experiences objectively. After learning the hardships they lived through, one night I crawled out of bed and tried to implant myself in their world. To do that, I had to live their experiences with them. I soon discovered that, in order to write their story, I had to walk in their shoes, to get into their skin and live their tortures with them. In Vietnamese, they would say, “walking in their ‘giya’, As authors know, that’s what they must do to get into their stories, especially when writing non-fiction.
    As I re-read my old manuscript, then typed it into my computer, I wept with them, laughed with them, and ached with them, as their story unraveled. After a year living and working alongside them, they changed my perspective on ‘refugees’ forever. And more than that, I learned to love them.
    Given my perspective, my heart goes out to the 60,000,000 people, . . . the refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons today who, as I write these words, are seeking for a country to call “home”. May the grace of God be with them.

    Note: If your church or philanthropic organization is resettling refugees or considering doing so, my book, “Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It” offers a template for how to go about doing so successfully. Our church had not resettled anyone before, although some of us knew persons in preceding years who had fled Hitler’s Germany and gone to the U.S. after World War II. Their experiences, though long past, were invaluable as we used their wisdom to organize our resettlement. It is important to see reality through the eyes of the refugees so we can minister to them effectively.

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