On Sunday I had the opportunity to make my first visit to a refugee home. My refugee friend is a 25 year old Iraqi Kurd, who has been living in Greece for about two years. He (out of respect for his privacy, I will avoid using his real name) is eager to make a better life for himself. He works for a local shopkeeper six days a week – usually 12 hour days. Although a hard worker, my friend has resorted to squatting, since his job does not provide adequate pay to rent even a small apartment in Athens (this is a common plight among refugees, who are only hired – and payed – under the table; the employers are, therefore, not subject to minimum wage laws). My friend shares this apartment with (usually) five other Iraqi refugees. There is no electricity or running water here. The apartment is next to a neighborhood bar, so they are able to get water from an outdoor spout late at night when the patrons and bartender are too drunk to notice. At times, they are also able to “borrow” electricity from neighbors (it’s easy enough to find a refugee with electrical experience who can split a line – although the power company has cut their connection on at least one occasion). Beyond these inconveniences, the apartment wasn’t in bad shape (nothing a woman’s touch couldn’t help). What their apartment lacked aesthetically, their hospitality more than made up for. I was offered the best seat in the apartment (on a coach someone had thrown out) and was promptly served hot tea. Our English lesson, by the way, went well. I spoke some random phrases (most of which originated from the English subtitles to a Farsi spy film) into a recorder he had purchased, so that he could continue to practice on his own (which, in his financial situation, demonstrates his enthusiasm to learn English). In addition to the recordings, we had a number of good discussions. Please continue to pray for this and other similar relationships – that I could establish trust and speak the hope of the gospel into the hopelessness of their situations.

One thought on “Home Visit

  1. how fascinating!…thanks for the updates. we love to read ’em. b.t.w…who wrote this one?? we can’t tell. love you guys! -the cowgurs

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