"It is the Same"
August 13, 2016
Growing up is never easy, especially through the teen-age years. But what would it be like to have your 15th birthday in a new country thousands of miles away from your homeland after being here for only about 3 months when you can’t even speak the language yet?
This week Epworth’s Good Neighbor team did what they could to ease this for a young man newly arrived in Boise with his family after spending 3 years in hiding in their own land because they were in danger from having helped the American forces.
It was an event of much delight, energy and eating. Oral communication was halting, in spite of the wonderful services of a professional translator, but smiles and hugs said it all for the adults and excited games of building towers with marshmallows and toothpicks and musical chairs and balloon popping kept the children celebrating at a high pitch.
Epworthies provided the traditional birthday cake along with cake pops and ice cream. Our refugee family contributed an amazing platter of dolma—stuffed grape leaves, onions, peppers, and potatoes in a rich, spicy tomato sauce.
When I asked if they were acquainted with the tradition of blowing out candles I was told, “It is the same.” When I asked if they knew the game musical chairs, they said, “It is the same.” When I greeted the grandmother who is called Nana, as I am, I said, “It is the same.”
Just one of many highlights, the father of the family offered a heart-felt expression of his gratitude for the friendship of the team and especially for Pastor John, our team leader, and presented him with a pendant inscribed with a cross and The Lord’s Prayer.