In June, my volunteers and I took a group of Cohoes City Life kids to a bowling alley. For some of them, it was their first time ever bowling. During our time there the kids had a ton of fun and they were all in very good moods. On the drive home however, things changed. A couple of the kids that I was driving home started joking about the current immigration and deportation issues that our country is going through. They weren’t intending to hurt anyone else’s feelings, but the jokes were not funny to one of our kids, Greg.
Greg lives at Manor Sites which is a government housing development in Cohoes. He lives with his mom and his three younger siblings. The reason his dad doesn’t live with them is because when Greg was just four years old, his dad was deported back to Africa. He still doesn’t quite understand why it happened or if his dad is ever going to be able to come back to the States, and that has caused a lot of issues in his life. I knew the backstory of Greg’s dad as I was hearing the jokes in the back seat and I could see that he was getting noticeably uncomfortable with the situation. I started to talk about how the Bible talks about how we should treat foreigners, strangers, and even our enemies. I told them that there might be kids at their school whose families are no longer the same because of immigration issues.
After we dropped everyone off, Greg texted me to thank me for standing up for people like his dad. The night may have started with bowling, but I was grateful that I had a chance at the very end to talk about something serious and share a part of Jesus’ heart for us.
*Names have been changed