He was a stranger and we took him in
Sunday January 29th 2017, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life,Politics

The second meeting of Stake Conference was this morning.

One of the last speakers was a man who was born in Korea. His father came from very difficult circumstances and, trying to make a better life for his own family, took a job in Tehran for several years to be able to send money home, having to leave his wife to raise their new baby and toddler alone but at least he could provide for them.

At last she was able to bring the children to go see their dad.

Right as, it being the mid-’70s, Iranian assets were frozen. The family could not get to their savings, they could not get home, they had no job to go to if they even could, and from what I understand they could not so much as go buy food–they were completely stranded.

A Mormon family in Utah took them in and their teenager gave up a bedroom so they could have a place to sleep. The man telling the story was four and a half at the time. He went on to say that he and his sister got a good education, everybody was safe, everybody’s circumstances are comfortable now (and he lamented that his own children had no way to understand just how good they truly have it) and they owed it all to the great generosity of those individuals who took them in and to this wonderful country which had let them come; he was so grateful. It was clear he had spent his life seeking to live up to the chances that had been offered him and to give back.

I was a stranger and ye took me in… He was overcome a moment.

After he sat down, the Stake President stood to give a few final remarks. He stated, first, “That was not political.” The crowd chuckled a little, and he explained: they had planned this meeting six months prior. And yet here we are.

Patrick Kearon’s talk last April to the church and the world at large summed up his experiences with, This moment does not define the refugees. But our response will define us.

…This post typed as a longtime friend’s husband, naturalized as a US citizen most of his lifetime ago on a dual citizenship, is stranded in Iran not knowing when or even if he can come back to his own home to see his US-born children and grandchildren again.

We are better than this.

7 Comments so far
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Yes, we are better than this. Unfortunately, the man who was elected is not!

Comment by Jody 01.30.17 @ 12:57 am

As th descent of German Jewish refugees, I am destroyed. Absolutely destroyed by this current situation.

Comment by Afton 01.30.17 @ 5:29 am

Yes, this situation is terrifying. The Canadian government has spent the last couple of days trying to get the US to iron this out–because folks of Iranian (or the countries of citizenship (who are in Canada as permanent residents, student visas, or even citizens) may not be able to get to conferences, to see family, or leave Canada because of this. Cause they may get stuck or not get home (to Canada) again.

Comment by Joanne 01.30.17 @ 11:43 am

It is frightening how a handful of people (with a fancy pen) can knock down so much of what a nation has worked to become. Yes, this moment in time could very well define Americans. From what I see of the protests across your country, I have great hopes that Americans will write a definition they will be proud of.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Blessings to all of you.
Chris S in Canada

Comment by Chris S 01.30.17 @ 10:00 pm

Chris really said it –

The US (and Canada) are countries built and made strong by wave after wave of immigrants. To have someone, by wave a of a pen create such a mess is nothing short of insanity. A Presidential order which wasn’t staffed through Justice, Homeland Security, or Department of Defense.

Excuse me – the US is a democracy – not a dictatorship. Especially those of us (not here in CA – the state not the country) who might have that sunset color of party – need to be on the phone and writing to express that the Midwesterner who proclaimed – We believe in freedom and welcome anyone as long as they believe in Jesus…..” does not represent the real America

Comment by Holly 01.30.17 @ 11:31 pm

The entire situation is appalling. America is not great when it is trampling the foundations and values it was created on. And that is what is happening. Nothing great ever came from small minds.

Comment by Leigh 01.31.17 @ 11:22 am

W & I spent the early evening at a rally against the ban in downtown Minneapolis, we have been calling our representative in DC on a daily basis, and we weep when we don’t know what else to do.

Comment by twinsetellen 01.31.17 @ 6:16 pm

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