Dean Cyndi NanceI had just arrived in Baltimore from Fayetteville – after what else??? – a long delay. I was tired, cold and grouchy when my cab driver asked me about my trip. He asked if I were here for business and/or a convention. I told him I was here for the business of advising a major refugee resettlement organization. He then asked whether it was governmental or a non-governmental organization (NGO). When I said, “NGO,” he said that we probably resettled him. I told him it was the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) of which I am a member, and he told me that in fact we had helped him resettle in this country.

He was originally from Ethiopia and was in a refugee camp in Kenya. LIRS resettled him to Yankton, S.D., where he was able to get his degree and then he later moved east. He said that coming here was scary and he asked the Lord for four things. First, to be able to worship Him; second, to be able to get an education so that he could take care of himself; third, to be able to help his family; and, at last, to be able to help others. He is now providing for four children who are not his own, his two brothers and one sister and two elders. He proudly told me he sponsored all of his siblings and that they are all now law-abiding citizens of this country and are doing well.

He was crying as he was driving and telling his story. “I know that you may go back home and wonder whether it was worth it for you to take the time to come here – whether you are really making a difference. I want to tell you that you people of faith have blessed me and that there are many Christians praying for you to make wise decisions and to be brave. I thank God for you. You are a blessing to my life. There are millions of people living in darkness and you give them hope and a reason to think that they should continue to live.”

I was speechless. I told him that I would share this amazing coincidence with the LIRS Board during devotions in the morning and he said, “Yes, that is the proper place for it. Praise God.”

When we got to the hotel he wouldn’t take the cab fare. He said, “You are a blessing and now in a little way I bless you.”

It is through these amazing, gentle and quiet moments that I am reminded of why I do what I do. And, the reminders always seem to come when I need them.

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