Last Sunday, Highlands Church began the long journey of supporting refugees. For our first initiative, we’re partnering with a local, Denver resettlement agency, “ACC.” 50 of us gathered in the auditorium where we heard from amazing people, like Eyni Ali (pictured) from Somalia. Eyni is 17 years old, attends high school in Aurora, and has been in the States for about 3 years. She’s committed to peace, justice, and love. I’m hoping you get to meet Iyni someday! She’s a beautiful, articulate young woman who ended her portion of Sunday’sprogram by reading one of her own original poems.

We are different, Yet alike
A Poem for Youth Voices by Eyni Ali

Judge, Judge, Judge
Judge is a five-letter word
These five letters can either destroy your life
Or it can be a life lesson
That can make you stronger
Everyone in this world is important
And the universe brought us here for a reason
But we have a choice;
We can either make a difference
Like Martin Luther King, a well known civil rights leader
And Nelson Mandela who brought peace
And a better future in South Africa
You can destroy the universe through ignorance
If you’re Hijab you must be a terrorist.
If you’re Overweight you must be unhealthy
If you’re White you must be Racist
If you’re Black you must be lazy

Words are more powerful than weapons
Words have a sense of inspiration
They don’t only express feelings
But they also create relationships
Words have a sense of discouragement
That are more long lasting than a bullet
But the question is which words do you want to use?
And how will you communicate with the people around you?
Would you judge them based on their appearance
Or accept them for who they truly are.
You and I are different
Just like siblings from the same womb
And socially
We’re similar but not the same person
Our differences aren’t what matters,
But it’s our actions towards each other
That matter

Let’s not hate or discriminate
Let’s care for one another
Let’s treat others with respect
Let’s listen to one another
Let’s smile at each other
Because a smile is the best form of happiness
Let’s love our brothers and sisters as you love yourself
Let’s genuinely love one another,
Because we can use our differences to change the world
We can bond as a community
To spread love, peace and unity
And now, our whole church is invited to take the next step. Join us from 6:30–8:30pm Sunday, May 7 at Highlands Church for our first formal Refugee Support Training session. To volunteer, we’re required to complete the ACC’s training and have a background check. It’s free. Child care is available. No registration is necessary – just show up! We have the unique opportunity of making a difference in the lives of refugees, while those same refugees also make a huge difference in our lives.

If you have questions or need more information, contact any member of our Highlands Church Refugee Support Leadership Team, RexLaceyJonathonBenOlja, or me.

May we all be like Eyni – working toward more justice, peace, and love!

Because Christ’s love for all of us is gigantic,
Co-Pastor Jenny