Why do we give away food? Certainly, we don't want anyone to be hungry. But it's more than that. As followers of Christ, we want to be like Him and follow His example. That's why we establish relationships with those we serve. And David Harper, Director of the Eastview Food Pantry, loves getting to know people.
A few months ago, David met Bohdan (not his real name) and his family, recent immigrants from Ukraine. Because they have family in Iowa, they could escape the war devastating their country. The first time they visited, David and Bohdan spoke through an interpreter. On subsequent visits, they've used Google Translate to communicate. "It's amazing technology," said David, "but it has failed us! I wanted to tell Bohdan that we have honey from a local woman who has bees. That kept getting translated as a local woman with a disease."
Despite that setback, David has learned much about Bohdan's family. "He was a professional in Ukraine, an engineer, and he's starting over in America. Bohdan now has a license and a vehicle and is working on his language skills." As they look over food items in the pantry, David helps Bohdan learn each item's English name.
"I anticipate this family's need for food assistance will be short-term. They've made remarkable strides towards acclimating to Iowa life. And even though we struggle to communicate specific words, it's amazing how a smile and friendliness transcends language barriers," said David. "I look forward to continuing my relationship with Bohdan. I know God brought him here for a purpose, and I can't wait to see what that might be."