By Katie Andrews Potter
I recently heard someone say they grew up in a Christian home, and followed that statement qualifying it with “we attended church on Sundays and said grace before dinner.” That’s all well and good. But it’s not enough. Because the Bible calls Christians to much, much more. James 1:27 states “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Even before Christ came, God was clear in Micah 6:8 what he expected from his people: “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
More than church on Sundays and grace before dinner, that is what it means to me to raise your children in a Christian home. To look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to seek justice and be merciful, and to walk with God.
This is something I have learned more and more as our family has served with Migros Aid Indy over the past few months. Because my husband and I both have experience working in Education and we have two young children, we volunteered to work with the kids during English club. The first time we went we weren’t quite sure what to expect. So many cultures and languages are represented, and we have come to learn how beautiful a thing that is. Kids pick up a new language so easily, and we are able to communicate with many of the kids in English, and I have even spoken with many of them in Spanish as they are learning it in school also. These kids are multilingual, and they have seen so much in their young lives. I spoke with two girls and their older cousin at our last meeting about when they fled Iraq and how they came to be in Indianapolis. They left because of great turmoil in their country, because their lives were in danger. They were supposed to be taken to California to live but the person sponsoring them abandoned them. Someone here reached out and brought them here. Their older cousin has been here about three years and the girls and their family about two years, but they are very fluent in English already. I asked them about how it is easier for kids to pick up English, especially learning in school, and they told me about how they help their parents learn at home, too. Many times one of their fathers will come home after a long day with certain words to ask his children their meaning. Having something like English club to help these families become more self-sufficient in this country is such a valuable resource.
Migros Aid English Club is truly living out the Christian calling – many of these people are orphans and widows, and this organization seeks justice for them. It’s been wonderful to see so many fluent English speakers come together to help refugees that may not necessarily feel very welcome here. Welcoming the stranger is another of God’s values, and that’s just what the people of Migros Aid are doing. They are welcomed with open arms, and loved as friends, brothers and sisters.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7