Thanks for coming to read more.
A few photos of my Syrian Friend over the years and a recent photo of her kids who aren’t so little anymore.
During our time in “Breakthrough”, we were able to do some more legwork and relationship building with the people we have been partnering with over that last 6 years in the Middle East for refugee ministry.
As you can imagine the Syrian Refugee Crisis has changed the climate and make up of Refugees in Breakthrough so much in the past several years. It is heartbreaking in so many ways. I made my first Syrian Refugee friend 6 summers ago. When we met, she had just been given a double stroller. Though it was falling apart, she was so thankful for a way to transport her kids in the city. For the next few years, she continued to be part of many ongoing ministries in Breakthrough. Eventually, as the crisis reached an epidemic level, she and her family moved to a refugee camp in another part of the country in hope of a better life. I talked to my friend just a few days ago. She shared that life is not better. She talked about “how hard life is getting to be in my part of the country.” But she closed by saying in her broken English, “but God is always with us.” Please pray that she will continue to grow in her understanding of Truth.
The scale of the Syrian Refugee Crisis is massive. Our friends have told us that there are over 1,000,000 Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Breakthrough – just in one city! And in the midst of that, we have been welcomed with open arms to continue to partner together to help respond to the crisis.
Leading a debrief for our Stint team:
Malisa with the STINT team girls, ironically we were waiting on the guys that night.
The biggest chunk of our time in the Middle East this summer was spent with our Stint team. The team is quite an answer to prayer. When we first came to Breakthrough for a summer six years ago, we prayed that the Lord would lead some of our teammates back for the longer term. This team is some of the fruit of those prayers. Of the 8 team members, 3 have spent summers with Brian and me in Breakthrough.
The days we spent together were rich, as we helped them process their past year living and being on mission in the Middle East. The team of 8 really were a rock-star team. They wanted to press into Jesus as they processed the year individually and with the group during our debrief time. Many times during those days, Brian and I would go back to our room and talk about how in awe we were of the team and all that God had done in and through them in a year. We celebrated the 11 disciples they have in their midst this year and prayed for and planned for next year. Most of the team is returning for a second Stint year. We were so encouraged.
We hope that in the midst of hearing about complex issue around the world that you might have a little window into what God is doing in the lives of a few in the Middle East. The Gospel is going out and continues to be impacting lives. Thank you for being part of taking the Gospel to Middle East, Boston, and beyond.
We love you guys,
p.s. As promised, some more pictures from our trip:
Some of the STINT guys during a dinner
Images from a small but very significant church in the city. The above image is actually of Luke 8 and we used that passage to frame our entire time debriefing the STINT team.
Two of my favorite girls. Both are Boston graduates, one was the STINT team leader, the other the Summer team leader.
Our Boston Students on the Summer Team post a day on campus