Language can be so welcoming or so excluding. Hull Vineyard shared with us this recent story about how they helped some refugees in their city overcome the language barrier and form friendships.
We have loved the opportunity to help several refugee families who have recently moved to Hull. Communication at first was a challenge, as they all speak very little English, however we soon discovered that using Google translate and pictures of what we have to offer works really well to find out their needs.
As the families don’t have access to transport, we have delivered to their homes which has allowed us to meet them in person, but also opened our eyes to the level of deprivation that many are living in. It has been so moving to see their response when we arrive with the things they need. Their faces and hand gestures of gratitude cross any language barrier.
Here is one story.
We made contact with a father who had just arrived in the UK with his wife and three young children, and they had another baby who was due to arrive soon. When he was asked what they needed, he simply replied, “We need everything, especially for the baby. We have nothing.” We were able to deliver a Moses basket and stand, a pram, a cot and bedding, a baby bath and car seat, as well as clothes and toys for all the children.
When we arrived, the excitement and joy from the children was palpable as they helped us unload – it was like they’d just discovered a treasure trove! The parents were tearful with gratitude and simply put their hands together and bowed their heads to thank us.