Thursday, October 2, 2008

All in the family...

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"You can be my mother." The very young Sudanese woman who spoke these words to me is expecting her first baby in March. Her family is still in Sudan, many of them in Darfur. She told me she has no family and no friends in Atlanta. She and her husband are refugees.

"Come back soon, sister." This Somali mother of seven children hopes I will return with some kind of hope -- and help -- for her daughter, age 11, who cannot read or write in any language. (photo removed by request)

This week has been all about families! My father and stepmother are visiting from Missouri. We've had so much fun talking, reminiscing, eating out, and visiting families -- our own blood relatives and those God has given us. For example ...

UNCLES WHO AREN'T REALLY UNCLES
Tim Cummins and I grew up together in Kenya. Our parents -- both named Cummins but not related (that we know of!) -- served as missionaries in Nairobi. Tim calls my father "Uncle Harold." It was wonderful to see them together again. I have my own Tim now, my beloved husband of 31 years!
AUNTS WE'VE NEVER MET TILL NOW
My father's older sister, Faye, lives in Athens. I had never met her until this week! She is lively and very sharp. She likes to search for exactly the right word before she speaks. She loves her little brother so much. I think you can see that by the look in her eyes.
NEW HOUSEMATES CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY WITH AN "ANDREI" CAKE
Our son Andrei was excited to present his latest creation, made in honor of his new housemate's birthday. It's an Atlanta Falcons football field!
We've done a lot of silly, delightful, and enlightening things this week. Today my refugee friend from Somalia drew my portrait. As we always say at her house: "IS GOOD!
She treated Dad and Phyllis to some Eid cookies. She had made some sort of jelly-like substance to eat with the cookies. We asked what was in it. She had no idea how to tell us. We ate it, of course! Yummm....
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She also drew a picture of her house in the refugee camp in the deserts of northern Kenya. This is a tent with a blue United Nations tarp on the roof
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I thank God for my family. How precious each person is to me. I miss my sister and her children in Missouri so much. I miss my father and Phyllis, too, when they're gone. I'm thankful that God has given us friends and family here in Atlanta. Not replacements by any stretch of the imagination. Let's call them additions to the family ...

1 comment:

Marilyn Crabtree said...

What a joy to see pictures of your Dad and Phyllis visiting you. I know you're glad to have them there so they can see your wonderful work with the refugees. You certainly are in a mission field.