Today, I see my friend as he lay dying. It is the malaria again. I see it every day in the rainy season. It is hard to lose a friend, but that is life here in our Africa.
Tomorrow, I pray we will all be strong enough to go to America. In America, we will be well and have those to nurse us to good health.
Today I see my friend with only a handful of rice to eat. I have twice as much and feel fortunate. I share with him, and he smiles. I pray that we will all be strong enough to go to America. In America, there is more than enough to eat. In America, no one goes hungry.
Tomorrow, I pray that we will be in America, the land of plenty.
Today, I see my friend beaten by thieves. They demand his money. He has no money, but they do not believe him. He cries out and I want to help him. I carry no weapons, only a Bible. I pray that they stop beating him.
America is a safe place with laws to protect my people. Tomorrow, I pray that we all will be in America.
Today, in Africa, land of my birth, I find sickness, death, hunger and brutality. But as surely as the sun rises each day, I find cause for hope. That hope, praise God, is America—a land with a caring people who open their hearts to receive us in happiness and friendship.
Today, praise God, I am in America. I have new friends who, like me, are children of God. They, like me, see God in everyone. They are our new brothers and sisters.
We have come a long way—poor, tired travelers looking for a new home. We find it here with you. Thank you, my friends, and God bless you and bless our America.
(Inspired by new friends moving to my community from war-torn Burundi in Africa).
--By Ron Cooper