Do you live next door to a refugee?

Do you live next door to a refugee?

Just under 2 months ago, I returned to the United States after living in a developing country for two years. It has been an interesting experience, and reverse culture shock has taken forms that I did not expect.

One feeling that I’ve had a lot is that I live such a comfortable life. So many of us in the United States and developed world live an incredibly comfortable life. I don’t want to get too used to that. I don’t want to forget that there are billions of people out there struggling for life’s basic necessities: food, water, shelter, safety. And I don’t want my kids to forget that either.

My wife and I have been struggling with these uncomfortable feelings. We’ve been trying to figure out a way that we can adjust to life, but not forget the outside world. Most of all, we’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to help.

On Sunday, we received an answer to our prayers. It came through the words of Patrick Kearon, who explained in great detail the plight of refugees, and the importance of getting involved. It was an electrifying moment. My wife and I both felt that this would become a new focus for us. We will help refugees.

Right now, I don’t know all the what or the how, but I know the why, which is more important. I will help refugees because:

  • Refugees are innocent victims.
  • I know what it feels like to arrive in a new country with no friends.
  • It’s a way to help reduce the impact of global human suffering without having to leave home.
  • I feel that God wants me to help refugees.
  • Many refugees have lived through some awful stuff.
  • Connecting with refugees and hearing the stories will help me and my family remain connected to world events in a very personal way.
  • It feels like the right thing to do.
  • Because I want to reduce the distance between myself and those I serve.
  • My next door neighbor might be a refugee.

If you want to be inspired, listen to this talk by Patrick Kearon.

If you want some ideas of how you can help, visit this page, and scroll down to the “Getting Involved” heading.

If you have ideas of how I can help refugees, post them in the comments.


I ate a Star Trek meal today–it was awesome!

I ate a Star Trek meal today–it was awesome!

 So, when a coworker described the futuristic Eatsa experience to me, I knew I had to give it a shot. It was not a disappointment. I’m not the only one who thinks this is pretty awesome. The Yelp reviews tend to agree with me as well. The future is most definitely now. 

No interaction with people necessary 

You can order on an iPad or download the phone on your app. I decided to give the iPad a try first. I swiped my card, picked my bowl, and then put my email address in so they could send a receipt. Then I looked up at a big screen that shows the name of everyone who has ordered, and my location in the queue. After about 2 minutes, my name was highlighted and it put a cubby number by my name. 2 taps on the glass door with my name on it, and the food appeared. It was like magic! 

So, why not talk to people?

Of course people are working in the kitchen, and I generally like interacting with people, but this way I could interact with my friend while waiting for food instead of the person being paid to talk to me. Likewise, I’m guessing the people in the back don’t mind talking to each other instead of a new person every 2 minutes. 

Mostly it just feels like magic 

So, it isn’t magic, but it feels cool, and automated. And it’s healthy and cheap. I’ll definitely be back!