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Walking Through Samaria

Oct 14, 2020

Meet Kitti Murray. Among other good things, she’s the founder and CEO of Refuge Coffee Co., which was created out of a dire need to make a way for peace, human connection and healing among multi-ethnic peoples a long way from home. In a country that too often ostracizes and assumes the worst about aliens and foreigners, Kitti swims against the stream, noting that “our country was founded by refugees. Jesus was a refugee.”


Her peacemaking and healing efforts revolve around a coffee shop in Clarkston, on the ragged edges of Atlanta, in a community CNN deemed the most diverse square mile in the world. She was determined to build a place where everybody can feel welcome, where people can sit down and lower their voices rather than raise them in acrimony and accusation.


“The thinking has shifted in our country, for some reason, from we allow people in and we help them based on their vulnerability to based on what they can do for us,” Kitti says. “And that shift is really troubling.”


So, she and her husband of 42 years, Bill — affectionately known to their nine grandkids as “Kiki” and “Chief” — try to counteract that shift by steering clear of agendas, be they political, cultural or otherwise. They show that being a Good Samaritan isn’t a mistake-free existence, but one that dares to get involved and meet needs where they arise.