Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25: 34-40
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
Many of you have followed alongside us in encouragement, prayer and support. We have felt honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to share the love of Jesus, with and through your help. Over the past couple years, the Lord has kept me in a mode of quiet, growth. I have not blogged or been an active communicator, waiting for the Lord to release me, in His time. Well, the day has arrived. In the last several weeks, I have slowly felt the waiting come to a close. After so much silence, where do you start. I suppose, the beginning.
For the last several years, the Lord has begun to soften our hearts for Muslim community. Most specifically, we have felt an ache for those caught in the refugee crisis, as well as those in transit to be caught in the crisis. Muslims from the most unreached areas of the world have been arriving into the most reachable areas of the world. Troy and I prayed and fasted for these men, women and children. Their plight has broken our hearts. Their countries are being torn apart, surrounded by betrayal, seeking the holy land - Europe. Once they have arrived, they are circle the proverbial desert (refugee camps), as they await news of their requested approval for asylum.
In 2017, we spent the summer in Lesvos. It was amazing, yet also very rocky and frustrating time. We struggled at first, trying to force our predetermined plan on the predetermined plan of God. You see, we know better. We prepare and plan, with the expectation we should be flexible to move with the Ebb and Flow of God’s design. However, that sadly was not what we did. We tried to force our predetermined plan, believing our commitment to those we partnered with was more important than our commitment to what God directed us towards while we were there. It was a fast learning curve, as God captured our attention and we had to slow down quite a bit.
My stateside employer allowed me to travel to Greece, with the understanding I would continue working Monday – Friday, EST time. With a 7 hour time zone difference, I spent much needed time with the kids in the morning daytime, while Troy worked with a partner organization at one of the camps. A few short weeks into our scheduled program, Isabella was injured and ended up in a cast (she’s all good now!) and Troy’s feet were making guard duty difficult in the camps. Yes, you read that correctly. Troy was a guard. And, there were some instances where he had to chase down refugees trying to leave the facility without authorization. Quite the picture, isn’t it?
These two factors led to a connection with a Muslim based NGO, in country, Humans 4 Humanity. This organization was providing dignity and humanity back to the refugees. These were considered things lost, through their journey, arrival and duration in the camps. The children joined Troy in the evenings of Ramadan, providing water and dinner after sundown. A real, tangible, outward expression of Christ’s love. These four joined several other secular volunteers – providing no strings attached compassion and love. During their volunteering, there were several instances where individuals expressed surprise by Troy and the kids. First, our trust to bring our children. No one under 18 is allowed in the camps. Because of this, not many volunteers are in country with their families. The refugees are not accustomed to seeing volunteer children, Christian children playing with their children. But this organization was working outside of the camps. Second, we asked for nothing. We didn’t share about Jesus. We just loved them. Even the couple running the NGO was captured by this. As the scripture tells, they will know us by the way we love.
In the months following our return, through prayer and fasting, we have felt the shift into the next chapter of our journey. We are still involved with our kiddos in Ghana; however, God is stretching and growing us to remain focused with loving our Muslim neighbors. This experience is a direct example of just loving one another.
Please keep us in your prayers, as we continue to seek and learn more about where and how God is leading us next.