So, the huge gap in posts has partly to do with being busy but also because I just can’t seem to get this story to come out right. I don’t know if it will be as meaningful to you as it was to me, but. I’m just going to give it my best shot so I can show you the rest of this vacation!
Ricky and I were really just tagging along on this lunch date where Palm and Scott were saying goodbye to their friend, Jay. I admit that my expectations were low for this meal, with a stranger, in a mall restaurant. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was one of the most memorable moments of the trip.
Jay was a refugee from Pakistan. He and his brother fled Pakistan after his father’s murder and mother’s subsequent death (stress-related heart attack). Jay was about 18, and I could hardly imagine being that age with both parents gone. The reason for our lunch celebration was that my/our home country, the USA, had accepted Jay as a refugee, and he was on his way to a new home.
So the story of the murder is simply that Jay’s dad was a Christian. In case you’re worried, the purpose of this post is not to bash Islam, but this meeting did flood me with appreciation for both Jesus and my country. While many people have and still do perform horrible acts said to be in the name of Christ, I always fail to find any biblical foundation for their conclusions. While US citizens have and still do impede the true practice of freedom of religion, there is no constitutional backing for such behavior.
So from Pakistan, in the wake of the deaths, Jay had escaped to Malaysia, but he had not fared much better there. While Malaysia technically offers religious freedom, it is heavily Muslim-dominant, and several months prior to our meeting, Jay had been thrown over a second floor balcony by some Pakistani Muslims, again for his Christianity.
At this point I was floored. Here was this soft-spoken man, 10 years younger than me, with experiences such as these. Yet here he was, filled with joy, appreciation, and headed to America.
Jay had just finished his week-long introductory course on America. I wanted to know what he had been taught, what he expected to like or dislike in America. After all, America has both pros AND cons. He responded immediately with, "Everyone is free!" He then said he felt like he was heading for his own promised land.