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God's Brave Women - Josi's Story

God's Brave Women - Josi's Story

Insecurity has always been a mean influencer in my life, but that summer night – July 21, 2016 – was the first time it showed up in a 15-passenger van. It was getting dark. My husband, one-year-old son and I loaded up into the big van. We were heading to O’Hare, Chicago’s international airport.

What will they look like? How many belongings will they have with them? Will they speak English? What questions will they have, and will we be able to answer them? Will we be friends? Will they like their new home?

We parked the van and walked into the international baggage claim. There a petite widow with a head covering and five children, ages ranging from 8-19, sat waiting for us. This 40-year-old mother looked 60. I could not imagine the journey this woman had been on. More questions swirled around in my mind:

If we invite them to our home, what do we talk about or do together? Do they have a certain diet based on their religion? Will they like the food I make them? How can I be the best cultural broker for them? Where can I find them the help they need?

In the days and months to come I would hear her story—their story—while sitting on the floor of their apartment eating almonds and raisins and drinking copious amounts of tea. The loss, the trauma, the pain, and the fight that makes her who she is—who they are. I’ve spent hours with them in public service offices, counseling centers and emergency rooms. We’ve gotten knocks on our door at midnight opening it to tears and panic. We’ve been a part of intense family blow ups. I’ve had to muster up bravery to show up, to go to their home when I’d rather stay at my own. I’ve cried tears of helplessness for them. I’ve doubted my ability to help them at all. I’ve spent hours pleading to God about them. It’s been hard and heart-wrenching. More questions weighed on me:

How should I share the gospel? Am I demonstrating the gospel clearly enough? Do I truly trust the Spirit of God to work in spite of my cowardness and mistakes? Will I get to see the day they come to faith? How will it happen?