Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Refugee Life: The Good Lie

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go with a couple of people from my church to see the movie "The Good Lie". We initially heard of this movie through Matthew House, one of the charities/missionaries my church supports. 

Photo via TheGoodLieMovie
Until hearing more about Matthew House, I never really thought much about the struggles refugees go through. You see, I have heard a number of people come from Nigeria, my home country, to Canada and claim "refugee status" who finally end up receiving Permanent Residence status. They seemed fine, no struggles, not much different from what many regular immigrants go through when trying to settle.

Now because of these cases, somehow the true meaning of a refugee was watered down. I had almost forgotten that there really are people who flee their countries just to keep their lives. The genocide in their villages, having to walk miles upon miles to neighboring countries, just so they preserve their lives for at least one more day. No, I'm not talking of electricity or unemployment issues that makes one wake up and say "Oh I'm leaving this country". No, not those kinds of problems but real problems that mean if you don't get away NOW, you wont live to tell the tale tomorrow.
  
This movie was a chilling one to watch. It was based on the story of refugees who fled Sudan to the US after their villages were raided - they are referred to as the "Lost Boys of Sudan". The kind of movie where a brief silence occurs and you can hear people sniffing and trying to hold back their tears. My goodness, sometimes it's so easy to forget what pain and evil exists in this world! It's also easy to forget that what we take for granted here, others would sacrifice themselves to let their siblings or children have it.

This was definitely the kind of movie that puts things in perspective; the refugee situation is so real! Not only were the struggles experienced in trying to flee Sudan for their lives, but as a refugee, that's only the beginning of the journey. They finally get out of Sudan to the US and the culture shock is another struggle in itself. Some navigate better than others while some totally feel hopeless, having to figure out life here in the western world away from where they once called home.
  
Like I said, this movie puts things in perspective so well; not only to be grateful for what I have but also to improve my "reception" game. People are lonely, people need friends, people need encouragement and all that falls under how we receive these people who have fled their countries to a new place just to keep their lives - the reception. 

Now it suddenly makes me want to smile more to the stranger I see, or to even ask a simple "how are you doing" and actually mean it. Organizations like Matthew House are suddenly now more appreciated by me after watching this movie and it's my prayer to be able to know more in order to do more.

About Matthew House 

Matthew House is an organization that receives and supports refugees when they come into Canada. "Matthew House welcomes newly arrived refugees with God’s love by providing safe shelter, settlement assistance and bridges into the community, while inspiring others through its replicable model and its advocacy."

"I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." Matthew 25:35

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