The Lipscomb women’s tennis team is serving during spring break at World Relief Nashville. World Relief works with refugees who have been forced to flee their homes due to ethnic, religious or political persecution and have resettled in Nashville. Dani Kinnen sent this report on the first day.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As we went into the first day of the mission trip we weren't sure what to expect. Half of the team hasn’t done anything like this before, so there were many questions for the refugees and the expectations were uncertain.
The 13 of us split into two groups so we could be with both families. The first family, a young couple with an 18-month-old little girl, were very talkative and wanted to communicate with us about their experiences in a refugee camp in southeast Asia before coming over to the U.S.
The second house was shared between a sister and two brothers including their mother and the brother's wife. They were more reserved than the first family, but were open to questions about their culture, and even brought food out so we could see what they enjoyed eating.
“The families were incredibly friendly and welcoming even though there was an obvious language barrier,” Laura Kent said. “I'm looking forward to spending time getting to know the two families over the course of this week!”
Overall, the first experience that we had with the families was wonderful. The most important thing we can take going into these next few days is to keep an open mind and be willing to learn more about the cultures surrounding us, especially since we are a multi-cultural team ourselves.
Said Hannah Gamage, ”It was a humbling experience because even though there was a cultural difference in nationality and culture we were still able to enjoy each other's company and learn something new from each other.”