Funny what hits you when you read the Bible.
I was reading through Genesis through a bit of genealogy and came across the name Omar. I stopped. Omar. I remember Omar.
Omar was Aidan’s very best friend in kindergarten. His parents were new immigrants. One of my huge regrets is that we didn’t invite Omar’s family into our lives while we lived in Dallas. Now that I’m far away from home in a strange land I understand more keenly the lost feeling an immigrant might have coming to a new place. The people who have been kind to us along the French journey have become so valuable to us.
We had another set of friends in Dallas, one man from Vietnam. He shared his story with us–how he fled his country in a boat while bullets flew over the bow. He’d never shared the story the way he shared it with us, his wife said. I’m sad we’ve lost contact with him.
One thing we did well in Dallas, in terms of international friendship, was befriending four Indian guys: Kumar, Raj, Jagan and Kamal. They were freshly in country. Through a ministry in Texas, we linked up with Jagan, who, in turn, linked us with his three roommates. We included them in our celebrations. We attended graduations. They took us out to Indian food. We shared our lives together.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is other than to encourage you to keep your eyes open for people who are new to your country. Empathize. Help them navigate life. Take them shopping. Help them find a dentist. Treat them as part of the family.
And if you meet a nine-year-old boy named Omar in the Dallas area, please say hi, and maybe invite his family over for dinner.