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by Susan Long

One year and 85 days ago, five of us headed to the Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport to pick up a Syrian refugee family All Saints agreed to welcome and bring them to a completely furnished apartment in America. Our eyes were full of joyful tears as we watched them walk up the platform to the welcome area at LAX.

They were a family 4, two young boys one born in Syria and one born in a refugee camp in Jordan. Each one had one suitcase and the clothes on their back. The parents looked scared but happy. Three years earlier they left their war torn city of Homs and moved to Jordan where they applied to come to the United States. That three year process of vetting left no stone unturned by the State Department.

Today, they are a happy family of 5 (their third child was born in the U.S. just two months after their arrival), the boys are speaking good English and the parents are doing well with their lessons. The father has a job and they have both have their CA driver’s license and a van purchased by All Saints donors. Of course it’s hard living so far from family, friends and the culture from which they came, but they are so grateful.

Today my eyes are filled with sad tears for those having gone through the long, long process to get here only to now be denied that new life.

[Header Image: Flowers All Saints sent the family in November – on their one year anniversary of being in the U.S.!]  All Saints continues to partner with IRIS (Interfaith Immigration Refugee Service) in the work of bringing refugees safely to the United States to rebuild their lives. For more information on this important work — including how you can help — visit their website.