In September, cross-cultural worker Katherine came back to the States to celebrate her brother's wedding, totally unaware that she would end up staying to attend her mother's funeral, who died unexpectedly while Katherine was home. Though her grief was fresh, Katherine returned to her work and asked her teammates if she could tag along as they paid visits to friends and their families in refugee camps. In Katherine's words, "God gave us good times, and I thought I'd share two story snapshots."
Fall Pickles and Baby Eggplants
Katherine recalls one visit, where she and her teammates joined the women in the kitchen, "the matriarch, her daughter, a few daughters-in-law and granddaughters were all there. Together, we finished making the last of the fall pickles as well as baby eggplants stuffed with walnuts, red peppers and garlic. As we worked, the matriarch told us, 'Last year, I didn't do any canning or make any pickles. I thought we would go back to Syria and have to leave everything here. This year, my kids, everyone insisted that I make them.'"
This matriarch and her fellow Syrians are, as Katherine describes, "weighing how much to commit to their new lives. Should they plan to go back or would it be better to settle here? Keep praying that families here would find both work and education for their children, a fair wage for their work and to be able to live in greater peace and security."
A Near Miss
A few days later, both Katherine and her teammate were exhausted and thought about postponing their visits that day, but then went ahead anyway. Relates Katherine, "When we arrived, we found that the couple who had invited us, also invited some of their neighbors and relatives—all waiting for us. And they were waiting to read with us and were upset that we hadn't come sooner."
The wife, Shahida, and her husband and the others who were there read the Creation story. They were amazed at how much they understood and at how much they discovered about who God is. "We asked how they wanted to apply or obey the passage they just read," Katherine says, "and they all wanted to read more. Shahida said she wanted to tell others what she had learned. God's Word spoke so clearly to them."
Katherine and her teammate left their house in the camp, dumbstruck at how they almost missed this joyful visit, but looked forward to the next study. "Please pray for Shahida, her husband and everyone who was there," encourages Katherine. "Pray that their hunger for the Word would grow and that they would become disciples."