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Refugees: Do We Let Fear Rule?

Fear has been making the news lately. It always does, but these past days have been extra heavy on fear. Social media intensifies it like never before. Danger can seem so close and real. Coming out to Chad, I’ve had my close calls, and there have been moments when I question why I keep coming.

I feel guilty because I put myself in danger, even if it’s slight, and by doing that, I also put the future of my family in danger. If something did happen to me, how would it affect them, especially my children? I imagine the pain it would cause them, my wife, my mother, and siblings.

I also know, though, that I would not be coming to work next to refugees from Darfur if I did not have that deep love for family. Some of the initial thoughts that made me get on a plane and come to camps on the Chad-Sudan border were imagining if it was my children and I in the middle of the desert, having experienced the destruction of our homes, the killing of family and friends, and other unmentionable horrors. How much would I be hoping that there was someone out there who cared enough to act?

Fear is natural, and it can protect us. But empathy and compassion, guided by rational thought, are also natural and can protect us as a community and a human family. As I write this, it sounds so corny and cliche, but I have been experiencing so many emotions from watching the news and the intense reactions to recent events.

I wish my refugee friends had the opportunity to travel to the safety of the United States or other countries, but most will never have that opportunity.

As I make my way to the refugee camps for the twenty-second time to meet with friends that have experienced fear I will never know, I miss my family intensely, but I also feel their support. They all know about Guisma and what she has been through, and they understand that the relatively small danger I put myself in is worth it. Opening our hearts and homes to others makes us better, and it makes the world better for our children.

Peace, Gabriel


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is a global day of giving.

Join iACT in starting a ripple of hope. Our Giving Tuesday goal is to build a new Little Ripples Pond, provide education for 45 refugee girls and boys, and train and employ two refugee women teachers. Your gift of $25 towards a $5,000 goal will allow us to do so.


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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