Families separated, homes destroyed, clothes torn. The colors of war stained the lives of each child, woman, and man. We sat on the cold floor of a ragged white tent among the hundreds as we listened to the story of a Syrian refugee mother.
“I don’t want a fancy house or money. All I want is to be together safely with my sons.”
Grief and trauma were as thick as the cigarette smoke clouding the air. We all felt overwhelmed, wanting to help, but not having the resources. Our team had set out to Greece knowing we could only give what we had received- the Joy, Hope, and Peace we carried which made us rich. We gave as generously as we could sharing words of love and encouragement. I know that if only for a moment this family, as well as many others, came face to face with Joy that remains, Hope that sustains and Peace that is produced by knowing there’s Father who has not forgotten His beloved children, even in times of war and suffering. This is just a glimpse into the redemptive story of Christ which compels us to be part of what Jesus is establishing throughout the world. From healings, to deliverance, and salvation, I never imaged the God of the nations would call me to share in what He is doing.
Day in, day out Maria and Michael selflessly served in order to show the Muslim refugees their value. The Pastor and his wife truly were the hands and feet of Jesus. English classes, dental care, coffee and quality conversation, warm showers, and a place to do laundry they had transformed their church building into a place of refuge, family, and fellowship. This was the church we served with during our time in Thessaloniki. We we’re able to help in very practical ways with meal prep, cleaning the church, and playing games with the children. It didn’t matter where they came from, the language they spoke, or what they believed in. Sunday morning worship Muslims and Christians came together in the presence of God and we sang in our different languages. I was reminded of Jesus’ promise to one day unite us in His perfect and everlasting Kingdom.
“God has shown me during this time just how valuable I am to Him. I have learned to hear His voice.”
Listening to how Jesus changed the lives of the students in this year’s Creative Arts DTS was one of the most encouraging reminders of how faithful our Father is. During our debrief week, I was able to reflect on how worth it it was to dedicate these last five months serving those around me through full time mentorship and ministry. I experienced the truth of God’s healing nature, His kindness and His grace in my own life, but also saw it transforming our students. So, why stop at 5 months?
I am officially moving to Costa Rica! I will begin the year with a focus on becoming fluent in Spanish. I have also decided to start back up with my online education. In April, I will join a couple other dancers to start a new Dance Seminar Ministry under Youth with A Mission. This is going to be another opportunity to redeem the relationship between the church and the arts. In light of God being the ultimate Artist this carries great significance in the return of His Kingdom! In September, I will head off to Switzerland for an intensive 6 month counseling ministry training. I carry the hope for healing in my own life and the vision to bring it to the nations. After my experience with the refugees in Greece I have come to realize how great the need is all over the world for people to have access to those who can facilitate mental and emotional healing. Ultimately, Christ is Healer of the Nations and this is His invitation to join in what He has already begun.
You can change the world too.
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