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For Christmas, Texans Mix it Up with Refugees–this Saturday in Dallas
December 13, 2017
THE UNITED NATIONS OF CHRISTMAS PARTIES
Gateway of Grace Celebrates with 300-Plus Refugees
Saturday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Church of the Incarnation
DALLAS – From Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Bhutan, Syria, Turkey, Iran . . . Algeria—but now from across Dallas—from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, a virtual United Nations of new Dallas residents will gather at Church of the Incarnation for Gateway of Grace’s (GOG) sixth annual Christmas party.
“Jesus and his parents spent his first years as refugees,” Dr. Samira Page, GOG founder and head said. Dr. Page herself came to Dallas 19 years ago as a political refugee and knows a newcomer’s early feelings of isolation during American holidays. “To love and serve refugees,” Dr. Page said, “is to love and serve Jesus.”
Christmas carols will ring out in English, Farsi and Arabic. St. Nicholas and Santa will show up. Children will play games and receive gifts. Crowded buffet tables will picture the spirit of the event itself: colorful bowls and platters filled with traditional dishes from many countries of origin—all ready to serve up and share.
“They bring the dishes because they’re not guests,” Dr. Page explains. “They’re part of the community.”
Church of the Incarnation, one of Gateway’s 90 partner churches, throws open its doors for the event for the second year. Each year, Gateway of Grace sponsors events at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
GATEWAY OF GRACE was founded in 2010 by Dr. Samira Page, who first came to the U.S. as a political refugee. Church-based and relationship-driven, Gateway of Grace’s 600-plus volunteers have helped assimilate thousands of refugees from fourteen countries.
In 2017, Buzzfeed profiled Gateway of Grace in How Dallas Became one of America’s Most Refugee-Friendly Cities. In early 2018, look for a Gateway of Grace feature in Woman’s Day.