POBLO Missionary Karim first became friends with Bassam as young child in Iraq, and they have maintained strong ties of friendship over the years and across the miles. Karim had known for a couple of years that Bassam was hoping to come to the U.S., though the timing had never been set in stone. So when word came that Bassam and his family were actually moving to Michigan, Karim was overjoyed. He and Missionary Salma Yono jumped to action, working to prepare for the arrival of Bassam and his family.
They spent two solid weeks preparing for their arrival. They located a suitable house in a safe area and furnished the house, running here and there to get furniture, dishes, and other household items. Karim and Salma were able to put the whole house together—four beds, sofas, a kitchen table and chairs, lamps, and refrigerator—paying for much of it out of their own pockets. They even stocked the fridge for Bassam’s wife, Mona. When Bassam and his family arrived, Karim picked them up from the airport (something the sponsoring govern- ment agency failed to do).
Salma cooked many meals for the family during their first couple of weeks here and showed Mona where to shop. Karim helped them get a TV and Internet hooked up. Nothing is simple when you’re new to a country, you don’t know the culture, you don’t know where anything is, and you don’t have a car yet. But thanks to Karim and Salma, Bassam, Mona, and their three teens (Ali, 19; Hasson, 17; and Zainab, 13) are start- ing to feel more comfortable in their new home and country. Now they will begin all of the necessary transitions: English classes, enrollment in school, and job search.
Like so many others, Bassam and his family have to come the U.S. from the Middle East for security and a better life. Their life in Iraq was precarious and risky, and they faced danger every day. That fact that his Christian friend Karim did all of this for him and his family spoke volumes to Bassam not only about Karim’s love, but also about God’s love. Bassam knows that Karim, who was formerly a Muslim, is now a Christian who is spreading the love of God, and he is fine with that. He and Mona, both Muslims, are open-minded. They’ve left the violence in Iraq for a new life here, and they are learning the ropes of life in America. Now, through Karim, they are beginning to learn what new life in Jesus is about too! Thank God that He is already using this friendship to portray His eternal love.
These articles are written by POBLO Directors, Staff, Missionaries, Volunteers, and Pastors.