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The International Cafe

Monday, August 29, 2016

Yesterday afternoon was the test-run for the International Café, an initiative intended to reach out to the refugee community in Degerloch, and it’s safe to say it was a huge success! Having expected roughly fifty refugees to participate, we were happily surprised when the bus picking them up, made to fit eighty people, was full! Once the refugees arrived at the school, they could sit and enjoy coffee and cake, and the children could cool off in the small blow-up pools, play with toys, or run around on the playground. Free clothes were given out. And of course, a football game was organized! One volunteer involved the kids by playing ping pong. Another took care of a two-week old baby. Others spoke with the refugees and heard their stories. All the while relationships were being built. Human connection – whether a smile, a helping hand or a listening ear – is powerful! We often read about the refugee crisis or hear about it in the news, but what a profound difference it makes when one engages with those affected by war and persecution. The refugee is no longer the “other,” a term often attached to them, but instead becomes a brother. From “other” to brother. This is the power of engaging with people from different backgrounds, nationalities, religions, etc. Ultimately, it teaches one that, in the words of a seventh grader, “We are all related.” Thank you volunteers for your willingness to help at this event! Your loving support was a huge blessing to the refugees, and this blessing was certainly reciprocal!