As a result of the recent crisis in Afghanistan, many nationals in need of resettlement have found themselves living in hotels in resettlement cities across the U.S. as they wait for permanent living situations to come available. While the situation is far less than ideal for them, it has provided several opportunities for GoTEN to engage entire communities as classes have been set up in the hotels.
Recently, Karis befriended a hotel resident named Naya. One day, Naya offered to do some henna designs for Karis and some other GoTEN staff members. While on their visit, the group was able to meet Naya’s father and hear his story about their arrival to the United States and an amazing act of kindness and love that they had experienced. On the last leg of their journey, a domestic flight with Phoenix its destination, a flight attendant asked the family where they were from. Naya’s father shared that they were fleeing Afghanistan and what happened next shocked them. The flight attendant announced over the plane’s intercom that they had the honor of flying some of the newest members of our country to their new home and asked everyone on board to join him in welcoming the family to America. Naya’s family was filled with hope as the plane erupted in cheer. The family also left the flight with a gift: a folded napkin holding a special message from their new friend Michael (the flight attendant). It read, “welcome home.”
This story is a wonderful reminder that acts of kindness often mean so much more to others than we could ever know, nor are they easily forgotten. Secondly, we are reminded that God is in control as He moves people from situation to situation. He asks us to love our neighbor, and often provides us those opportunities.