This Flowing Toward Me: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers

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9781594711978: This Flowing Toward Me: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers
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What began in 1979 as a response to a random bulletin board posting would ultimately change Sister Marilyn Lacey's life--and the lives of countless refugees. In vivid prose, Sister Lacey narrates her twenty-five year spiritual journey of work with those displaced by conflict and disaster. In the spirit of Dead Man Walking, she invites us to solidarity with some of the world's most vulnerable. Timely and engaging, This Flowing Toward Me offers fresh, personal insights into the world of refugees and international immigrants. More importantly, it stirs our hearts to remember the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger.

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What began in 1979 as a response to a random bulletin board posting would ultimately change Sister Marilyn Lacey's life-and the lives of countless refugees. Nhia Bee, along with his wife and five children, had been placed for a few weeks at Sr. Lacey's convent upon arriving in California from a refugee camp in Thailand. When the family was moved to permanent housing, Sr. Lacey realized, to her own surprise, just how much the family had lodged itself in her heart. Not long after she had a dream that changed the course of her life. She writes:

In my dream I was standing in a large schoolyard. My arms were full of books. The bell for class was ringing. Suddenly, at the far side of the yard, I spied Nhia Bee's five children. They saw me at the same instant and came running. I dropped my books and scooped up six-year old Chai into a bear hug. I had not seen or talked to them since they'd flown off to Illinois.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

Impishly, Chai grinned back, "We're here to teach you a new way of loving."

With those words I awakened. It may sound strange, but when I awoke I was convinced that this was an invitation from God to involve myself full-time in refugee work.

About the Author:

Marilyn Lacey, R.S.M., has worked with refugees for the past 25 years, both in displaced persons camps in Africa and Asia, and as Director of Refugee Services with Catholic Charities in San Jose, California. In 2001 she was honored by the Dalai Lama as an "Unsung Hero of Compassion" and has long been an advocate for refugees and migrants. She holds an M.S.W. from U.C. Berkeley and in 2008 she founded the nonprofit Mercy Beyond Borders, whose mission is to partner with displaced women and children overseas in ways that help them move up from extreme poverty.

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