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My Native Land
Photo: Marc C. Johnson
One of the most memorable days of my life was the day I arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh for the first time since I left as a baby. I am adopted, and was not raised in the my birth country, nor did I know very much about where I came from. The entire flight I wondered if I would remember anything about this city.

I stepped out of the airport onto a dusty road. There were crowds of smiling small children, adults, beggars ... all entertained by watching people leaving the airport. My first sights of the city elicited a deep sorrow. There were sounds and sights I was not accustomed to and a language I did not ever remember hearing. The streets were jammed with traffic and lined with so many people I could hardly see the ground. I was surrounded by unfamiliarity and yet I finally looked just like everyone around me.

Desperation and Poverty

The cities I was familiar with in the United States definitely battled with issues concerning poverty, but this was a city overwhelmingly filled with desperation and poverty. I had had not seen the homes of the rich and poor side by side before. Walls were built around every property to mark land ownership, however, this land would only be owned until it was covered by water in a monsoon. Everything of earthly value could easily be lost. The only hope for many is their faith. Scripture verses such as, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26), actually came to life in front of my eyes. People were managing to survive literally.

I was and still am one who struggles with worrying about survival, but I now find myself reminded of God's goodness shown by the faith and courage of the people of Dhaka. As the city and it's people struggle to survive from flood after flood and lack of resources, there are still people living there who are filled with hope and joy. My homeland reminds me that I can be strong because God really does provide.

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By Marion Ruybalid. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. 

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