Meet Rashad: a young boy displaced from his home in Syria due to horrific events. Despite the many difficulties this boy has already encountered at such a young age, he still exhibits joy in all circumstances. This is one of many evidences that the Holy Spirit is at work in this young boy’s life.
My eyes swelled with tears as I sat with Rashad during our lunch time at camp, and he told me story upon story of his life in Syria. There are some things people should never have to experience, but certainly not a boy of only 13 years old – certainly not Rashad. The only words I could even begin to muster under the cracking of my voice were, “I’m so sorry, Rashad.”
Rashad told of a time in Syria when the war had just begun to emerge where he was living. “The bombs would come almost every day,” he said. He described to me a day of terror in his home when his friends came and invited Rashad to pray with them in the mosque. His dad refused to let Rashad leave with them, deciding it was “just too dangerous.” Rashad became angry with his father but, nonetheless, he obeyed. Rashad later found out the mosque his friends attended was hit by a bomb and his friends were killed. I could hear the pain in Rashad’s voice as he fought through the story. He said, “I guess God had a reason for not letting me go with them.” I pray that reason is so Rashad will believe and trust in the Truth of the gospel. I trust that God brought Rashad and his family from Syria, to Lebanon, and eventually to Canada for a greater purpose than mere safety. But rather, for an eternal reason - so that the gospel might reside in their hearts until the day of salvation
Refugees are neither seen nor heard, but they are everywhere. They are witnesses to the most awful things that people can do to each other, and they become storytellers simply by existing. Refugees embody misery and suffering and they force us to confront terrible chaos and evil. Let us confront them with God’s Word.
There are more stories like these that I could include in this update, but truthfully, they are not mine to tell. Even as I write this one, I must fight back the tears. There are a many Rashad in this world, who have been brought to your backdoor for a reason much bigger than ourselves. Let our love for God, the lost, and our neighbors drive us to bring them the greatest news of all time.