The kitchen at the refugee reception center was in shambles! Containers of partially used food were open on every possible space. The pots and pans were piled high waiting to be washed and put away, there were groceries to be refrigerated and another bus with new guests had just pulled in! They needed translators, cold water, places to plug in their phones, information on departure times, and a smile. We left the kitchen as it was and went out to welcome the guests. Much later as we returned to the kitchen, we found it not only cleaned and in order, but supper was cooking on the stove. Two young adult women greeted us explaining that they had been sent to this center to render their hours of community service, mandated by a judge. As they left, they thanked us for their chance to help others.
By Judy Kramer, OSB