Cookout for Refugees: More Than a Kickoff
To kickoff a new semester of serving refugee students by providing homework help on Wednesday nights, a group from Christ Covenant hosted a cookout at the Cedar Point apartments. There was a flurry of activity as hundreds of children and parents enjoyed hot dogs, Burmese food, and lots of laughter. But the event turned out to be much more than simply a kickoff.
After the cookout there was a school supply sale. All newly arriving students and rising kindergartners were provided with a free backpack and supplies. The rest purchased those items for a very low price. Many parents participated in purchasing supplies for their children. Overall, we raised almost $400 which will go back into the school supply store for next year. Christ Covenant supplied the majority of backpacks and supplies for this event. We distributed well over 100 backpacks!
Below Kathy Williams describes her experience from the cookout last night.
The cookout last night began in the typical American way - food prep, set-up, grills, ice, a rain plan – a kick-off for what used to be the “CCC Karen tutoring ministry,” now moving to the Cedar Point Community Center and serving all the refugee students of many nationalities.
In God’s economy, however, so much more was going on than logistics. As members of Christ Covenant and our Karen brothers and sisters worked together to get the food ready and mingle with refugee parents and children, I was struck anew with the miracle that is Cedar Point. These sad, run-down apartments hold a slice of the world–the 10/40 window right here in Raleigh, some Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, fleeing homelands where the gospel is prohibited, some brothers and sisters in Christ fleeing persecution for their faith, most with little to nothing of material possessions–the least of these.
What a miracle to see children from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and America playing together with no hindrance from language or cultural barriers, or to see grateful tears in the eyes of a mother of nine simply for the delivery of leftover hotdogs, or to see 4-year-old Christ Covenant children locking eyes with and giving a bottle of water in the name of the Lord to precious refugee children.What a miracle that God would use our feeble efforts of homework help right here in our backyard to build bridges with refugee students and their families and reach the unreached with the hope of the gospel. What a miracle that God would use a typical American cookout to reawaken a passion for the lost and a love for His people in this tired and selfish heart.
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36