Escape from Viet Nam
Cover of “Refugees!” by Jeanne Jacoby Smith (artwork by Mary Jacoby).

A word from the author: Jeanne Jacoby Smith

At long last after months of typing, editing, and revising my book, “Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It”, is finally online. Check to get your copy today.

About the Book

What would you do if soldiers broke into your home and held your family hostage? How would you react if your children were screaming, “Mama, Papa, help me!”? Where would you hide if you wended your way through the forest, only to find hucksters nestled in the bush, ready to rob and kill you?

In March of 2014, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations’ High Commissioner of Refugees, stunned the world with his bold statement: That 60 million people, the greatest number in human history, were fleeing the lands of their birth and crying out for a country to call home. Thus, history echoes the refugees’ stories in every generation.

The 21st century is no exception.

In this spirit, ‘Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom and a Church That Helped Them Find It’ recounts the story of ‘Every Refugee’ down through the ages. Cases, in point:

  • Moses leading the children of Israel across the Red Sea to the Promised Land.
  • Mary and Joseph fleeing with Jesus to escape King Herod’s henchmen.
  • When Hitler’s thunder reigned down upon Europe, refugees by the millions fled to receiving countries.

“Refugees! A Family’s Search for Freedom. . .” is a day-by-day account of our church’s experience resettling refugees in America. From meeting the family at the airport to setting up an apartment, from teaching them English to finding the head of the household a job, this book recounts one church’s story of successfully orchestrating a resettlement in America.

In the months that followed, as our refugees became fluent in English, we learned their story of escape. It burst our schema beyond imagination. Afloat on the South China Sea for many days, they were salvaged by the United Nations.

By the time their resettlement drew to a close, not only their lives were restored, but our church was transformed, as well. The refugees’ presence among us opened our members’ hearts to the plight of ‘the other’. When they met us at the airport, we were strangers who babbled a language they couldn’t comprehend. By the time our sponsorship drew to a close, they were one with our church family.

As this book goes to press in 2016, the numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide has soared to 60 million. Half of these are children. The need for sponsors today is greater than at any time in recorded history.

It is my deepest desire that our church’s story will inspire your house of worship to open its doors to ‘the least of these’, the refugees, who are crying out for a country.

— Jeanne Jacoby Smith

4 thoughts on “Refugees!”

  1. Thank you so much for this book Jeanne. I am married to My and part of their wonderful family. We will never forget what you and others in your loving community did for this family. In many ways, we are ALL now part of the same family, aren’t we.

    Sincerely and Respectfully,
    Raymond Clark (Husband to My, Father to Hannah and Nicholas)

    1. Hello, Raymond and My!
      Thank you for your kind comment here. It brought tears to my eyes. As you may know, when an author waits for reactions to his or her writing, it’s like waiting for the echo at the end of a tunnel.
      I truly appreciate your comment here, as it inspires me to move forward on the issue of refugee resettlement . Blessings to both of your families. I hope to meet you someday.

    2. Raymond, yes, we are all part of the human family, and your beloved wife and her family are very special additions to it. My (naturalized as ‘Kim’) , along with her parents (Hanh and Bi), and her brother Tuan (naturalized as ‘David’), were some of the most inspirational people our family ever met. Our church had not worked with refugees before, but walking alongside My’s family during their resettlement built empathy in our congregation. Seeing through the eyes of ‘the other’ deflects us from the diatribes that, sadly, some are unjustly making against refugees today. My prayer is that this book will inspire other churches to open their doors and welcome refugees into our communities.

  2. Dr. Jeanne Jacoby Smith, God bless you for feeling called to write this book for “such a time as this”.
    Dr. Sharon Ashman Flora

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