Why do I stand for welcome? It begins with the Biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and love both our neighbors and our enemies. But refugees are not an abstract concept for me; refugees are intensely personal. Some of my closest friends are refugees. I’ve now walked alongside and mentored nine refugee families here in Colorado Springs, sharing my life and theirs with the intimacy that comes with family. I’ve taught English to countless hundreds of others over the past nine years. Some are Christian, but many others are Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. I love them anyway. And I admire them. They are survivors. They’ve overcome the most horrific ethnic cleansing, torture, persecution, and loss of family and friends that you can ever imagine, and they have the scars to prove it. Yet they’re open and loving, willing to learn a new language and new culture, and make a new start at life, grateful to any who are kind to them. They’re generous with their hospitality, and I know they’ve taught me far more than I could hope to teach them. For this, I will continue to stand for welcome.