Reda Hicks, attorney, community activist and military wife, helps displaced families start over in U.S.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
HOUSTON — To Reda Hicks, refugees aren’t nameless faces on the news.
They’re real women — with real stories of escaping war and persecution in places such as Iran, Iraq and Sudan.
Hicks, a member of the Memorial Church of Christ in this ethnically diverse Texas metropolis, volunteers with The Community Cloth, a nonprofit that helps refugee women launch microbusinesses.
“My children understand what a refugee is … because they’ve played together, shared stories and showed kindnesses to one another,” said Hicks, mother of Howard, 6; Josie, 4; and Katie, born just a few weeks ago.
What motivates the 35-year-old attorney — whose husband, Jake, is a retired Green Beret — to devote time and talents to helping refugee families start over in a new country?
She points to her Christian faith.
“Throughout the Bible, there are examples of people risking everything to take care of others,” she said. “Consider Rahab and the critical role she played in carrying out God’s plan for the people of Israel. Consider the Good Samaritan. Consider every Christian that has ever spoken truth to power, knowing they could be forfeiting their lives in doing so.”
Jake Hicks, 43, identifies with his wife’s concern for refugees based on his own experiences with U.S. Army Special Forces.
While fighting to stabilize Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn nations, he frequently served alongside natives — interpreters, medics and militia members who helped save American lives while putting their own in jeopardy.
“Most people around the world just want the basic necessities of life,” said Jake Hicks, who flew helicopters and dispatched to numerous war zones in 22 years with the Army. “They want freedom and happiness and to be able to practice their religion.”
This story appears in the March 2017 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.