Working with Refugees

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Let me give you a picture of what is happening with Refugees in the city we work in. Many of the women I talked to are Kurdish Syrians or Kurdish Iraqis. A typical one-bedroom apartment would include a mother and father, their children, their children’s spouses and grandkids. Sometimes two extended families move in together. No one in the family is allowed to work legally. If the men in the family are not injured, they can do day labor jobs. Some women can work in the textile industry. But often these companies are “fly-by-night” and might close down at any point, leaving weeks of unpaid salaries for the workers. But because they cannot legally work, they have no legal labor protections.

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I have a Syrian friend who is lucky. She got a job translating and teaching because her English is good enough. In Damascus, before the war, she and her husband had a good life, family, house, etc. When war came, they locked the doors and prayed it would still be there when they return. Because there are no schools or opportunities for their children, they have chosen not to have more kids. “There’s nothing for them in our world,” she says.

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Ultimately, our hope is not that all of these refugees and asylum seekers would be granted asylum. Our hope is not that all wars would end and that everyone would get to go back to their former lives. Our ultimate hope is the hope of Jesus. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

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