Twenty Five Years Ago

a poem by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark

Twenty Five Years Ago

Twenty five years ago you were born -
Naked, clothed simply and humbly:
A child of hope for the church
to welcome strangers on the road.

Twenty five years ago, you came as
Vision of Light in the human mind -
awakening human hearts to unleash
God’s gifts of compassion, love and mercy.

After twenty five years, now you stand -
No longer naked and a fragile child
But a confident youth, grounded on
Your conceived identity and purpose in Christ.

Within twenty five years, you have labored
Visiting refugees, strangers and foreigners,
Writing their stories, giving them voice
In print, dialogues and conferences.

You have gathered churches, fellowships,
mission societies, leaders of faiths
and religions, volunteers and authorities
to rally around for the cause
of the strangers and the unwanted.

Within twenty five years, you have raised the flag
for solidarity, acceptance and tolerance
Enabling us to taste food of strangers in our tongue
Opening our ears to their language, history and songs
Making us see the product of their creative hands.

For twenty five years, you have opened the Church of Christ
Beyond her rigid walls, reminding us the God who hears
the cries of the afflicted, extending her hands of hospitality,
Enriched by the life and cultures in multi-ethnic beauty.

Congratulations for being a channel of God’s grace
In Denmark and beyond the Danish borders and coastlines!
Congratulations to your employees, volunteers, supporters!
Congratulations to all Danes and new Danes and all -
who have been a part in Tværkulturelt Centers’ long journey.

Let us celebrate this day in November 2019
The Jubilee Year for our beloved Tværkulturelt Center,
A Thanksgiving Day for the Lord for bringing a beacon of hope
to refugees, immigrants, guest workers and strangers -
A whispering voice of conscience to churches
To be the Samaritans in our own context in history.

Thanks for stopping by on the Road in Life
For seeing the need and offering your generous hand
Thanks for accepting, molding, welcoming,
Healing, reconciling and for letting us be.
Thanks for being a channel of God’s love and mercy.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
Welcomed, accepted, invited to participate, integrated by TC’s loving arms.

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