Recently, our community welcomed an Afghan family to Portland, and we were able to respond with housing, food, and volunteer support.
This family left Afghanistan just a couple weeks ago on a cargo plane with only a backpack, two sets of clothes, and their important documents. They had to leave their families behind – some were unable to obtain the necessary papers, and others were too old to travel in these conditions. They are quite worried about their family back home, some of whose lives are in imminent danger. The husband explained how they are basically having to start back at square one, rebuilding their lives.
They shared pictures of their beautiful wedding celebration, and how the country fell apart soon after they were married. Women can no longer leave their homes, and if they do, they need a male escort and must be fully veiled. Young girls are frightened and families are trying to keep them out of harm’s way. In their own words – Afghanistan is a completely different country now.
The volunteers who shared dinner with them, mentioned that as they were leaving the dinner table, the husband turned to his wife and said, with a smile on his face, “well, now you have your first friend!” His wife’s face glowed. She shared how excited she was to have their new friends over once they were settled, so they could host and make them food.
We are so grateful to have them here with us in Portland. It is such an honor to welcome our newest neighbors in this way, and to be considered both friends and partners in their journey of rebuilding. We stand with them, now and in the years to come.
Thank you for your support of this work and of our newest neighbors. It means so much.