What We Do


It all started when…

As I walked to my car after bible study one morning, I walked by a family speaking Arabic outside what I presumed to be their home. I greeted them with “Aslyaum Alkeium”, the greeting in Arabic I had learned while studying abroad in Morocco a month earlier. We introduced ourselves and they shared with me how they were Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Rochester. They quickly showed me hospitality by inviting my friend and I in for tea. Though there was a language barrier, I was surprised by how much we could still communicate.

The rest of the summer, I spent many days at their home getting to know the family of nine. We went to appointments, ate copious amounts of Syrian food, practiced driving, shared what we believed about God and laughed about our cultural differences. During this season, the family also blessed me by coming to my home to have dinner with my own family.

As I have watched my friends transition into life in the US, I have been inspired by how they have met challenges with perseverance. Many of the kids express dreams of going to college and succeeding in their careers. Though my friends’ future is unclear as they still long to go back home to Syria, I pray that they will continue to flourish here in Rochester. I value our friendship and I look forward to seeing them continue their journey here.