Video Musings November 09 2012, 0 Comments

This last week Bob and JJ from Rule 29 came to shoot a video for Re:new. This has been in the works for a long time! Video is such a powerful medium to communicate a message, and we pray God will use this video to increase awareness about refugees and Re:new’s mission.

The morning dawned beautiful. Hari, one of the refugee women from Bhutan, sat in front of the camera and told her story. Four times. She truly was a natural in front of the camera, patiently repeating lines over and over. It was a long day, and we are so thankful that she chose to tell her story, a story that mirrors thousands of others who have come to America as a refugee.

As we were waiting for the videographers to set up in the morning, we sat down with Hari and asked her more about her life in Bhutan and in the refugee camp in Nepal.

There were two things that struck me, two things that I completely take for granted: an assurance of belonging and the freedom to pursue economic opportunity.

I belong in the U.S. I was born in America and enjoy all of the rights and freedoms of citizenship. For Hari, her birth country says she does not belong there and forced her family out. Her family had been in Bhutan for centuries. But they were not recognized by the government as citizens because they are Nepalese.

The other thought: Freedom. I can work wherever I can get a job. Hari’s family was in a Nepalese refugee camp. They could not legally work outside the camp. She describes the camp as being a messy place, with scarce resources and little opportunity for work. I cannot imagine being in such a geographically limited space and not having the freedom to walk out of that space and pursue a better life for my family.

Listening to her story was a sobering experience, but when she came to the part about coming to the U.S. and coming to Re:new, her face lit up with a smile! We were all smiling and wishing that all of you could have heard her tell about coming here! She has family here in the States. And she has family at Re:new. She describes the first time she walked through the doors of Re:new. “I felt like I was among friends, like I belonged!”

Friends, this is our mission, to welcome refugee women who have not been welcome, even in the places of their birth. But our mission does not stop there. Along with inviting refugee women to be a part of this community, we provide them the skills and opportunity to be employed in a flexible, great work environment...among friends.

Hari now enjoys the reality of belonging, and she has opportunities to learn and work, here at Re:new and elsewhere. But what makes Hari’s heart sing and her smile widen even more? As her children grow up, they will listen to their grandparents and parents tell the stories of Bhutan and life in the refugee camps, and they will use their imagination and think of how that must have been. But their reality is a life of freedom and opportunity in a peaceful country...a dream come true for this wonderful family!