The Space-X spaceport is about twenty minutes from our home. We drove out there today to see the latest prototype of the starship that will take humans to Mars. Her name is SN-9. She could fly next week. They have been test firing her engines and doing pressure tests on her for several days. Many of her predecessors did not survive the tests leading up to a launch. One reason is that some of the tests were designed to find out how much pressure the ship could handle.
A few days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, my husband left to perform the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. As the Hurricane approached and in the days before it, my phone was ringing like crazy with weather warnings and cautions to leave South Padre Island. With my experience from growing up in a war zone, I quickly began to think about the safety of my children, and my husband and I thought it would be best for us to leave the island for safety.
“Once upon a time, in the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo, one of the most beautiful cities in Syria…” this is how Iman Akroum started her conversation with me. Iman and I can both understand each other, missing home is not easy for both of us. When we first met, we shared our own private stories; we shared our tears and talked about leaving our home.
If you ask the Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley to describe Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM), prepare to hear stories. For Stanley, it is the story that makes the ministry, the story of short term assignment that became a life time labor of love, stories of the aspirations of new Americans, stories of hopes and dreams, and stories of the struggle to adjust to a new culture, language, and land.