There was a young Syrian refugee woman living here in Malaysia. She and her husband were living with his brother and sister-in-law and their two kids. They decided to leave the country for a better life. Because they soon discovered that Malaysia was not going to be the land of opportunity for them. And they were expecting a baby. Had plans to eventually get to Germany via Georgia.
I was happy for them. Although a bit skeptical since they were doing this on their own. But waiting for a relocation through the UNHCR would take years and they did not want to wait. And I don’t blame them one bit.
I wished them well. Then immediately thought that the furniture we (group of volunteers) had found for them a few months prior could go to another refugee family in the area. A beautiful changing table, crib, etc. There is always a new baby being born to the many refugee families here. And I knew that if they were fleeing the country they would not be taking any furniture with them.
I told her sister-in-law that we would gladly take what was left behind and give to another expectant mother in the refugee community. I am all about the reuse, recycle and renew!
She told me that there wasn’t much left in the house. They had sold everything to raise money for their tickets.
At first, I was like, “Wow.” And to be quite honest I felt a little disappointed.
I told my husband.
He said, “Mary, when you give you give. With no strings attached and no expectations.”
I thought that I already was that person. But for some reason I thought this situation was different. Wouldn’t everyone want to pass along the things they couldn’t use to someone else in need?
I thought like this because I was thinking about my next step. And not theirs. Or thinking about their new needs.
They needed the money to survive their next journey to a better place for the family. Because that’s what survivors do.
My husband is absolutely right. No matter what the gift, if it is truly a gift, there should be no expectations.
I’m almost fifty years old and I am still learning and growing. Every day.
Note: The family is still in the country of Georgia. They had a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Unfortunately, it has been many months and they have not reached their intended destination. They do not like the country and I am not sure if they will make a go of it there. But they are surviving.