Fleeing Persecution

I recently discovered a new Indian food restaurant in Arlington, Texas. It’s called Tandoor Indian Restaurant, and it’s really awesome! My wife and I stopped in after Sunday morning service, because we learned in Sunday School that the Greek word for temple is na’an, which happens to be the Indian word for “bread.” We hesitated no longer, finding this place on Google within minutes, and we decided to drop in.

First, we noticed that the place was packed. Second, they were able to find us a table, but it was one of those two-seaters that obviously belonged to the bigger table next to it. Either way, we were hungry, so we took it. They quickly greeted us with drinks. My wife had a coke, and I had a Kingfisher lager. Kingfisher is an Indian beer, and it is delicious! The restaurant does buffet for lunch, so I went to the line and started with a bowl of lentil soup. My wife did the same. Afterward, I grabbed a full plate of Chicken Tikka Marsala, and a second plate full of na’an.

I managed to finish the na’an, Marsala, and the beer, and then I heard some people talking next to me. One gentleman was encouraging another in their faith. I eavesdropped for a little while, feeling rude, but knowing that proximity left me few choices. My wife was quietly trying to finish her food, and she also noticed the conversation going on next to us.

I eventually spoke up and said, “Excuse me gentlemen. I can’t help but overhear you encourage one another in your faith. I appreciate your boldness, and I wish both of you a blessed day.” They were sort of “thrown off” by it, but they responded kindly and continued talking. Eventually, they turned to me again and started to ask me questions. They asked if I was a Christian. They wanted to know what I thought about immigration.

I told them that I wish we would bring in more immigrants. Further, I elaborated on the fact that my family also immigrated, it was just several hundred years ago. Either way, I asked them, “What brings you to America?” One gentleman explained that he was from America, but spent several years as a missionary to Turkey, which is a highly persecuted nation. The other gentleman explained that he had just arrived here from Pakistan, another hostile nation. I told them that I had never visited a hostile nation, but I told the Pakistani that he worked here, did business here, and fed his family here. As far as I was concerned, he was American, and we were happy to have him.

The gentleman looked very somber, almost relieved. He said that the immigration process was very tedious and difficult, and many officials didn’t share my worldview. I told them that was a shame. We talked for a little longer, then they got up to leave. We extended salutations of “May the Lord bless you and keep you, my Brother” and we parted ways. I am glad that these gentlemen and their families found refuge in America. This is what this country was built upon, and it would be a shame to change that.

Wagen, over and out.

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