This week, a handful of the redemption youth and youth leaders will be leading and serving on sunday morning. one of our youth, juliette felzmann has written this week's blog post as a way of participating in body life.
A couple weeks ago, I had an encounter with a family that I will never forget.
This family, a husband, wife, and 5 children plus one on the way, fled their home in Syria. They are Kurdish Muslims refugees. They spoke virtually no English as they had just arrived 3 months ago and started English school two weeks ago. They had lost everything in Syria. The ten year old boy used mostly hand gestures to communicate that their house had been flattened by a bomb. They also left behind all their extended family and made their way to Turkey for 2 years to seek refuge before coming to Canada.
As they were new neighbours on our street, my mother and I wanted to welcome them by giving a box of fruit bar snacks for their kid's school lunches. All we knew when we came to their house was that they were Muslims who had fled Syria with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. When we came with the gift, they immediately welcomed us warmly into their house. The box of fruit snacks was hastily put onto the kitchen counter, and we were invited into their living room. The basement suite was small and minimally furnished. I saw no toys except for a few stuffies. They insisted we sat on the sofa while they pulled up the dining room chairs for themselves. The wife lifted up my mother’s feet and put a throw cushion so she would not directly be touching the floor. While we were talking through a Google translator app, the oldest daughter made a Syrian dish and only brought two bowls, one for me and one for my mom. The seven of them sat around us and intently watched us eat the food.
Talking with them was very hard because the Google translator app was not always accurate. For instance, they were trying to communicate about the children going to school and the app translated the Arabic word madrasa, meaning school, as mafia. We talked about all sorts of conversational topics such as school, work and their life in Syria. When it was time for us to go, they expressed real appreciation and thankfulness that we had come to see them.
So, how do you share the good news of Jesus in a situation like this? You show them love, in everything you say and do. You show love even if you can’t communicate.
In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus says that the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. He then goes on to say that equal to this command is to love your neighbour as yourself. My mom and I showed the Syrian family a small part of the gospel through reaching out and loving them. In that time, through our actions, God planted a seed of His truth and love. The irony in this experience is that in loving the family, God also planted a seed in my heart for people who need help and acceptance. My hope and prayer for this family is that they come to Christ, and they learn about the unconditional love that He gives freely.
Sometimes, you may feel like you can’t share the gospel with someone that you meet. Sometimes, you don’t feel comfortable sharing the gospel as I felt in this experience. If this happens to you, I encourage you to love that person unconditionally as Jesus loves us, and maybe they will know we are Christians by our love….By Our Love - For King and Country
My name is Juliette Felzmann. I am in 7th grade at Carver Christian High School. I play the violin. I love cats and dogs. I also like to draw and paint.