The Invitation: Refugee Camps
am gleaming, I am glowing—even out of a broken and contrite heart. How can that paradox even be? Well, simply because this is what I was created for. I was created by the hands of my maker to serve His people and to exude love to those who have forgotten what it even means.
Today, I was ushered into the meager tent of a Syrian family. In spite of their desperate need, they gave. They gave out of Middle Eastern hospitality, but all the more humbling is that they gave out of the goodness of their hearts as a symbol of trust for me: a white, young girl who speaks hardly any arabic but will dare to sit in the middle of their muddied story with them. They offered me their dumplings, olives, bread, and cold nescafe. I reveled. It was just me, the Holy Spirit, and my weak Arabic in that tent with this family who’d lost so much. Several of their family members beheaded, their belongings obliterated by bombs, and their dignity stolen by a gunned man, yet they dared to be an anomaly to hatred by extending love.
I learned so much just by dwelling with them. In those moments, I learned that death can sting and steal away that which is physically most precious to us as humans, but that it is by our decision to choose joy in those circumstances that truly determines how a situation will effect. I learned new depths of God’s global heart as I thought about the fact that i’d been sitting with IDP’s in Nepali disaster relief tents only months prior to this but now I am sitting with Refugees in Greek disaster relief tents—and God is still so unbelievably good in spite of global tragedy. I confirmed the power of daring to say ‘yes’. For, I never would have had the opportunities I did today unless I sought them out. I learned more about the compassion of God, as He allowed my own heart to be utterly pierced as the true stories of unfathomable tragedy fell forth from the lips of these people. I learned all the more about how much God aches to lavish His perfect peace upon them to wash away their heavy burden.
There is so much to be learned by this kind of humanity.