The Crossroads Up Close

A few days ago, Jeff Bleijerveld talked about “crossroad cities,” a concept that fascinates me. He says he’s got a lot more to unpack on that subject.

Fort Wayne, like so many American cities, has some crossroads qualities. We’ve got the largest population of Burmese outside of Myanmar, plus a lot of immigrants from Bosnia and Darfur. And yet, they remain somewhat invisible to me. I don’t know where to find them.

Last Saturday, I attended the dedication of a Habitat for Humanity home that my church, Anchor, along with three local Presbyterian churches, funded and built. The keys were handed over to a Muslim family (seven kids!) from Somalia. That’s them in the photo, along with some other folks from Somalia. This family spent 13 years in refugee camps before making it to the States four years ago. The husband and wife, and I assume the kids as well, now speak English very well.

During the ceremony, two young men, immigrants from Ethiopia, expressed their appreciation to us for helping their “brothers and sisters” from Africa. Very cool.

So we got a touch of the crossroads thing. In building this home, they saw the best of Christianity, and maybe some seeds were planted.

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