Lancaster City has recently become known as “America’s refugee capital,” following a report by the BBC which said that Lancaster takes in 20 times more refugees per capita than the rest of the U.S. Meet Barbara Witmer, one Lancaster City resident whose longstanding commitment to refugee resettlement has affected hundreds of lives.
Sally and I knew El* would be the first woman to arrive for worship every Sunday morning. She’d be out front of the church with her headphones on, dancing wildly to “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin.
In the 1970s, a Marxist military group called the Derg gained control of Ethiopia by force. There followed several years of civil unrest, in which gunfire seemed to resound beyond every horizon, friends and neighbors were divided by fear and betrayal, and the church was forced deep underground.
What does “welcoming refugees” mean to me?
Tuesday night, on the last day of January 2017, I stood on Penn Square in the setting sun with 2,000 of my neighbors in support of refugees and immigrants in our city and in our country.