In the heart of the busiest weeks of the election season, Hillsborough, North Carolina, drew attention from around the world as the county Republican headquarters was firebombed and heavily damaged. In those same busy days, though, one part of that same community stepped in to offer a word of hope in the weariness of these days.
This summer, in response to the worldwide refugee crisis and particularly the struggles of Syrian refugees, Hillsborough Presbyterian Church partnered with the Durham office of Church World Service and began in earnest to help people whose lives literally have been a “hell on wheels” for five or more years to find new and peaeful life in the North Carolina Triangle.
On October 16, Hillsborough Presbyterian Church welcomed the 12 members of the second and third refugee families—both of them Syrian, as was the first family in July—to a banquet to welcome them to the community. The congregation is cosponsoring these two families this fall, furnishing their apartments, helping them to learn English and U.S. culture(s), assisting with getting children enrolled in schools, and helping them find doctors, grocery stores, and a myriad of other things necessary to quickly becoming productive members of American society.
Alongside the shocking and horrific firebombing in Hillsborough, the good news is that God’s peace will prevail anyway. Seeing and hearing American and Syrian children dissolve with laughter as they played “Duck, Duck, Goose”—in Arabic, no less—while the same joy showed in their parents’ and grandparents’ eyes as they watched, proved God’s love and sovereignty beyond any doubt.
Submitted by Bernie Nord, Hillsborough Presbyterian Church.