December 8

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Proverbs 24:3-4 (ESV) 

 

I was seven and a half years old when I was born…at least the second time. December 2, 1979, the date I immigrated into this country, is as important to me as May 20, 1972, the day I was born in Havana, Cuba while my dad, a political prisoner, was in the middle of serving a 20-year sentence. I could only imagine how my life may have turned out had I not had the privilege of being born twice.

 

Much of my life has been somewhat nomadic…immigrating, moving various times before graduating high school, serving 23 years of active duty in the military…it’s been a thing for me, this concept of finding home. And I searched!

 

But I learned a few things along the way. To me, home is a concept, not a physical location. Home is ALL about people…all people. 

 

We all know about the mass evacuation of Afghanis after the most recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The Red Cross, whom I work for, had a part in the resettlement of these wonderful migrant families searching for home.

 

As part of that effort, a friend of mine was deployed for six weeks to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, one of the many locations that served as processing points. He shared with me how makeshift schools had been set up and kids were learning. It was a sense of normalcy and he was moved by it. I get it… that Afghan child was me 42 years ago. Turns out, I’ve always been home.

 

So, I have found home full of precious and pleasant riches in many places…I have found home in kindness, in giving, in listening; I have found home in understanding and inclusion, in helping and being helped; I have found home in my church family, in nature, in my dog, Tank. I found the best HOME in my family and in my wife, Nancy – the best person I know. And I found all these gifts in America…my home…and yours too! 

  

 

Jorge Martinez


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