Today I led a team from YWAM Korea into a refugee camp for what I like to call “cultural exchange”. We have built up enough trust now to have blanket permission to enter this camp whenever we want with whomever we want so we go and just see who God brings us to on any given day. And although by now I have many friends in this place, I love it when none of them are around because it is then that I get to make new ones.
Each refugee “apartment” consists of three identically sized small shipping containers. The middle one has the entry door, kitchen, half bath and shower room. Flanking it on either side are two equal sized (narrow and deep) bedrooms. Each bedroom has two occupants, making it four young(ish) men in all sharing a flat.
Reza was on his porch and invited myself and the six Koreans I was with into his half of his tiny room for tea. I went in first and quickly figured out that we would not all fit. Reza’s roommate was sleeping and buried himself under the covers. I left four Korean teammates there and with a little German told Reza I would be back.
I took the two other young men to see if a friend of mine was home. He was not. But we were invited into the home of a Kurdish father and son and their Eritrean flatmate. Tea was served and my Korean friends delighted our hosts with Korean worship songs. I am sure these sweet, sincere Muslims were unaware that the songs were about Jesus, but I doubt it would have mattered. These young people really brightened up the room.
Having set up these two with Google translate, I headed back to the other flat to see how the other group was doing (knowing that they had no way of communicating with their host). Reza had set them up on his bed facing a chair with an older MacBook playing the movie “Jaws” dubbed in German as he prepared tea and dinner for them! The Koreans were quite amused and also lit up that dark room with praises to Jesus.
When I complimented this 41-year-old thin Iranian man on his hospitality, he sweetly replied that it was so much better than the loneliness he feels most of the time! Wow! What a privilege to make a friend in that kind of need. What an honor to show the love of Jesus for this man that God created with His own hands!
We continue to make friends and come back whenever we have time. We are recruiting and connecting more local missionaries to extend our reach so that people like Reza don’t need to be lonely. So that the name of Jesus can be lifted among the refugee population.
Friends, it is such an honor to be here, bringing light into the dark places. We bring the fragrance, the aroma of Christ. This is how we end up giving Bibles to former Muslims or starting Bible studies. This is how we share the Gospel with the down and out.
We cannot thank our supporters enough for allowing us to be able to do what we do. We are grateful to them, our prayer partners, and most of all Jesus. He is our all in all.