Stories From the Heart of International House

Interview with Ann Heign

Courtesy of Glo Magazine:

Article by Courtney Rawlinson

Ann Heign is the program director at International House (iHouse), a mother to four daughters and an Indiana native. She graduated from Trine University and has a love for books, nature, languages, ballet— and has a huge heart for embracing formerly persecuted internationals.

The mission of iHouse is quite inspiring. How has this mission impacted your own life outside of work? 

“… International House was founded with the heart to embrace both the international and the refugee. How we do that looks different for each individual person. … People arrive in Fort Wayne from war torn countries, poverty, persecution and desperation. The lessons I learn from the men, women and children I meet profoundly affects my life at home. I do not take for granted my country, my children, the large extended family and friends I have been blessed with, my church or the access I have to medicine, fresh water and food.” 

You’ve traveled overseas for various mission trips. Has experiencing different cultures helped you guide and teach refugees to be more confident and comfortable living in the Fort Wayne area? 

“Everything I learned overseas has amplified what I do at iHouse, and everything I have learned at iHouse impacts my work globally as well. A short-term mission trip can change not only the life of a person overseas, but the life trajectory of the traveler as well. That is what happened to me… It was a slow, steady shift in my personal life. The lessons I learned as I traveled gave me a deep compassion for the displaced person. The refugees I meet at iHouse have traveled far and they are thankful to be here. They want to learn the language, to fit in, to learn how the United States works. 

… My work at iHouse has solidified my belief that life is meant to be in relationship. Grace, kindness, selflessness, are all part of any genuine relationship. IHouse is a place of light and love for those who have been living in the dark places of the world.” 

What should the Fort Wayne community know about iHouse? 

“International House exists to embrace internationals and refugees. The love of Christ compels us to love those whom God has brought to this country. Our programs exist through the generous contributions of individuals. Financial donations can be made on our website.” Opportunities for volunteers and financial partnerships can be found on Embracing others with acceptance, love and companionship— and teaching this great country’s language and customs? We’d say it’s the American Way. 

Posted in News / Articles on Feb 28, 2019