After learning English, my second most important task was to get a job.
I thought that having a college degree would make it easy, but all I got was “You’re overqualified for this position” or “We will call you back” which they never did.
I had only negative experiences and I was getting a little scared and depressed. What was I doing wrong?
One Sunday morning a compatriot friend showed up to my door and said to me “let’s go to the church. Today they have a big handout for the immigrants”
I hated the idea of handouts; all I wanted was to be off welfare and be on my on feet. I thought; what the heck, if they are willing to give away food and clothing, how hard would it be to get some advice. Besides I needed some urgent divine intervention in my life, so a trip to church seemed like an excellent idea. So way to church we go.
The church was a pleasant surprise. Unlike the old European churches of massive stone, dark and gloomy with the constant reminder of impending death on every corner, the American church was open and luminous like a celebration of life. The people were extremely nice handing out the care packages especially to the families with children. I tried to approach some of them on a more personal level but there was a strange resistance, a feeling that they did not wanted to stray from their charity mission, so I backed off, went inside the church and pray.
It felt really good and for a moment I felt like I finally find a home for my wary, tired soul. I decided to come back again the next Sunday.
My friend was very disappointed in me “I can’t believe you didn’t get your package. You could have saved your money and buy some beer and smokes” But I wasn’t thinking of beer. I was thirsty for something more…