I'm in Love With This Idea!

from Shane's Muslim Connect

Don’t you love the feeling of discovering something unexpected and good? Growing up in Indiana it was arrowheads in the field behind our house or mushrooms in the woods. On a walk last week here in Southern Colorado, I stumbled upon a beautiful pair of shed mule deer antlers. 

I had that same feeling recently reading about a guy in Lancaster, PA who helps refugees host dinners in their homes. Bridge, the brainchild of Mustafa Nuur, himself a refugee from Somalia, is “a social enterprise business dedicated to introducing the cultures and stories of refugees through food and talk.”

Nuur says, “When you hear a refugee’s story, it’s going to be very difficult for you to hate them.” (Tweet this.)

What a brilliant idea! Nuur trains refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, and elsewhere to host dinners for people who’d like to understand those cultures and traditions. He also arranges larger events designed to introduce the community to refugees. For these, he strongly encourages attendees to bring along someone who’s never met an immigrant. 

Some of the benefits include:

  1. Refugees make a little money.
  2. The refugee’s culture, life, and presence is validated.
  3. Bridges are built between refugees and their new community.
  4. Locals gain insight, appreciation, and compassion that is otherwise unobtainable. 
  5. Connections are made that can lead to ongoing interaction and benefit. 

Could this happen in your community? Maybe somewhere nearby? I would love to see this idea proliferate around the U.S., Canada, and beyond. 

Toward that end, can I ask you three things?

  1. Pray for Mustafa and his efforts in Lancaster and other cities.
  2. Let me know if you’re aware of similar, refugee-hosted efforts.
  3. Reach out if you’d like someone to scheme with about launching this in your town. I don’t want to overestimate my practical help, but I will be your biggest cheerleader.