“Do you have a brake on your side of the car?” the student driver asked me as he almost ran a red light.
“Nope I have nothing” I replied.
“Wow! You must really trust God!”
“Yes. This is true. I have been in much more dangerous scenarios and God has always proven to be right by my side.” I responded.
A little bit later… “So, why do you do this? Why are you teaching me and others?” The man in his thick African accent asked.
One way we can love others is through showing love to refugees. This is why I do what I do
“Because I love Jesus. Jesus has commanded Christians to love God and to love others. One way we can love others is through showing love to refugees. This is why I do what I do.”
Conversations like this are happening often while taking students driving. Though they are frequently interrupted with directions like, “turn left” or “slow down!” I started driving with students a few months ago as I was also teaching my own teens how to drive.
I have found that learning to drive is an enormous barrier for new refugees to face. One of the barriers they must face is that the written test is only offered in a few languages, so just getting to the point of passing the written test takes a lot of work. Then, the behind the wheel test is only given in English. Though the instructors might give simple directions, often those new drivers who speak English as a second language are nervous, and struggle with the English directions they are given.
I am now regularly driving with over a dozen individuals from a variety of cultures including Somalia, Afghanistan, Congo and Ethiopia
Once they pass the test, our new Rochester neighbors are able to be much more independent and have the ability to grocery shop, go to the doctor or visit a friend without relying on others. Often, it allows the individual the opportunity to seek a better paying and more secure job.
Behind the wheel driving lessons started out with just a handful of students learning in my own vehicle. Yet, the word continues to spread, and I am now regularly driving with over a dozen individuals from a variety of cultures including Somalia, Afghanistan, Congo and Ethiopia. Word keeps spreading. This is a good thing, but it also has developed to the point in which I need more assistance.
Praise God that a vehicle was donated to Arrive Ministries recently, so I will no longer have to use our family vehicle.
Adam Cheney is the Rochester Area Coordinator for Arrive Ministries