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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Solitary Placed in Families

indexIt was a special night, full of the warmth of family and friends. We invited a couple dozen folks over for dinner and a movie. Our oldest brought an acquaintance from work. Another friend arrived with a young boy about 12 years old.

“This is Banja,” she introduced us.

“Well, hello, we’re so glad that you’re here,” I helped him to prepare a plate from the buffet.

Banja appeared younger and more frail than any American counterpart. He had a delicate thAfrican face. After getting him settled, my friend met me and explained in another part of the house.

“Was it okay to bring him? He was all alone in his home. His father had to work and the live-in girlfriend was away on business….”

“Not a problem, of course he’s welcome,” I responded thinking of our friends gathered from every background and nation.

“He’s from Sierra Leone,” her gaze met mine. “The father brought him out because of the situation. Now the boy is practically living on his own. No one has time for him….”

“Then the Lord and we will gather him in,” I smiled, recalling the Scripture, “God places the lonely in families….” (Psalm 68:6).

thThat evening we watched “The Scarlet and the Black”, a 1983 made-for-TV movie with Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. It’s the story of an Irish Catholic priest who saved thousands in Nazi-occupied Rome, a real-life story. The signficance was not lost on me with Banja joining us.

The young coworker of our son was a college student who had just had his financial aid cut off two weeks before university resumed this fall. Making the best of a raw situation, he decided to stay in the city before transferring back to his home state to finish his last year of university there next year. But for tonight, he was surrounded by a new family, ready and willing to stand-in for his own while he was away from home.

A young boy from Sierra Leone and a displaced senior in college. He sets the solitary in families.

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