Six years ago this May I moved to Houston and was invited into the home of my friend and fellow community member, Nusura. We shared brownies and a bowl of strawberries the first time we hung out. We sat on her couch and we tried to use Google Translate to talk. But we mostly just sat there and giggled like 5th graders.
I knew in that instant something incredible was happening. I had been invited into the home of a refugee from Burundi. I had been trusted even while we didn't share the same language. I was witnessing the possibility of bridges being built between neighbors who needed to belong. Neighbors who needed life-transforming relationships. A transplant and a refugee: neighbors who needed community.
Later, I came to learn Nusura's story which she has given me permission to share: that she was married with children before conflict broke out in her country. En route to a refugee camp, her husband and children were killed. And at the refugee camp where she was for years, she was remarried. After years of waiting for next steps, they received word that their applications were accepted and they'd be resettled in the United States of America. And after more waiting, tons of red tape, and a flight to Houston, they were dropped off at their new apartment––expected to learn a new language and find jobs to pay rent and use Houston metro system to get to the grocery store and pay back their plane tickets, like basically ASAP. After experiencing all this together, her husband abandoned her. Nusura was left alone.
And she graciously welcomed me into her home--offering the Gift of getting to know this incredibly strong, courageous, hospitable woman.
Because of FAM Houston, I met Nusura and my life has changed for forever because of it. (Lots has happened--including watching Nusura become an American citizen!) I learn so much from Nusura as she's a leader in her community.
I'm so grateful for FAM Houston, an organization working for justice by building empowered community with refugees, immigrants, and local Houstonians. FAM Houston believes friendship that feels like family changes the world and teaches neighbors how to build these relationships. And I'm 100% in love with FAM Houston's commitment to hospitality, mutuality, storytelling, and inclusivity.
In a city and a nation and a world where people from different countries and continents and socio-economic backgrounds and religions need to learn to live together, FAM Houston teaches neighbors to thrive together.
I'm running the Run Houston! Minute Maid Park 10K with Reason2Race to raise $5,000 for FAM Houston. Nusura's story of resilience is the norm for refugee neigbors I'm in community with thanks to FAM Houston.
Houston needs Nusura and our refugee neighbors.
Texas needs Nusura and our refugee neighbors.
Our country needs Nusura and our refugee neighbors.
Let's raise $5,000 together. Help me hit my fundraising goal! Let's work to grow friendships that feel like family and change the world so all people of every single country find refuge and community and belonging.