February 13, 2023

Unexpected Friendship

Written by: Stacey Foor, part of the Afghan Resettlement Team

What if you were given three weeks to make a lasting friendship. Is that enough time? Is it worth it to invest for only three weeks? How much of a relationship can you develop? If you would have asked me a year ago I would have thought that three weeks wasn't enough time to accomplish much. Now add in a family from a different country who speaks very little English and it sounds futile. What happened was very different from what you would think.

From the beginning they shared what little they had. Inviting us to eat with them. Serving tea and an array of snacks everytime we sat with them. Many times our days with them were spent smiling at them, and using the few words we knew in each other's language. Sounds awkward doesn't it?! The opposite was true. The father was so loving and called me "his sister." The daughters and mother were quick to give me hugs. The eldest son called me "auntie". 

When the day came to say goodbye all of us had tears. The impact they made was lasting to my family. That's why, two weeks ago, my daughter and I flew to California to visit them. Now, one year later this family is established in their own home and was so excited to show us how far they have come. The kids all showed us their report card where we could see how great they were doing. Four of their children now have driver’s licenses and even a nice car to drive. Dad has his permit and is getting ready to take his drivers test. Three of the family members have full time jobs. Once again what they were concerned about was our comfort, whether we had to drive far to our hotel and they made it clear we were to eat with them. We spent three days with them, laughing and loving and storing up new memories to tide us over until we meet again. The morning we left was so difficult, all of us in tears but the memories we made were wonderful.

Is three weeks enough time to build a lasting friendship? Absolutely! When we go forward, taking time for people that Christ has called us to love, three weeks is plenty of time.