Today I asked one of the young men from Eritrea how people keep going, how they were still so hopeful, given the troubled lives they lead. I wondered out loud if their faith and religion was a big part of it. He answered yes, but that community was a big part of their culture as well. Intrigued, I asked more questions, and the answers blew me away.
This particular area has around 150-200 people, mostly teenage boys living together. Every Sunday, they gather together as a community – they ‘go to church’ – in a clearing nearby and erect a wooden cross with whatever they can find. Then the older men speak and give messages of strength and togetherness.
But they will also talk about where others in the group may go wrong, where people are being led astray, and what everyone needs to strive to do better. They identify who needs support, how they can help each other and the younger ones respect and take in the counsel of the older ones (often less than a decade apart).
On a bleak day, this conversation was such a bright light. The community / family / beautiful spirit shown between this impromptu group brought together entirely by circumstance, thousands of miles from home touched my soul. What incredible people, and how fortunate will the country be which does eventually allow them to settle in safety.
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– written by a volunteer