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Making disciples among the unreached

Impacted By A Blast

By Merla Gogel
Tags: Atlanta, Canada, Diaspora - North America, United States, Diaspora Ministry, Muslim Ministry, Refugee Work, Story

Jamila* was going about her daily activities when a cooking gas tank that she was standing close to  unexpectedly exploded. The blast left Jamila with only one finger and a thumb, and severe burns on her upper body and face. She endured painful operations that were not as successful as she and her husband, Aman, had hoped. Though Jamila’s physical appearance had changed, Aman continued to love her. He would introduce her to people saying, “She was a beautiful bride, now she is my beautiful wife.”

Jamila required further medical attention, and it was decided that it would be best for her to receive this in America. Jamila left her loving husband and son to live with her sister and brother-in-law. However they were less than kind to her. When they took Jamila shopping, they would firmly state to her, “Get what you need, then we are going home.” They were too embarrassed to been seen in public with her.

Growing Distant

Jamila, already self-conscious of her scars and appearance, became even more so after living with her sister and brother-in-law. Naturally, she began to withdraw, and became emotionally disconnected with people. Last year Aman and her son joined Jamila in America, but she continued to spend a majority of her time cooped up in their apartment.

In spring last year, Marie and Kyle moved from Canada to begin working with refugees. Shortly after arriving in America, Marie met Jamila and a friendship began. One practical way Marie showed the love of Christ was to not be embarrassed by Jamila’s appearance when they were out in public. Soon the hard shell that Jamila had covered herself with began to soften. She was coming to life! Just recently Marie took Jamila to get her hair done; it was the first time in four years that Jamila had visited a hair salon.

Refugee Ministry

Marie loves Jamila and the other refugees who have come to America. She wants to not only help them adjust to life in their new country, and deal with the emotional and mental scars that have developed after years of fearing and fleeing for their lives, but she also deeply desires to share Christ with them.

Marie has had many conversations about Jesus with refugee women just by "doing life" with them. Some of these things include going with them to medical appointments, teaching English, and helping them understand letters that their children bring home from school. Marie believes these spiritual conversations would never have happened in the refugee’s country. However, now that they are in America they are open to the gospel and hearing about Jesus.

Marie believes that they are on the cusp of seeing God do great things in Jamila’s life and among the other refugees they serve. Pray for the salvation of Jamila, Aman and their son, plus the other refugees Marie and Kyle minister to.

Pray for more workers. Though Marie and Kyle work with many young adults who love and serve these refugees, there is room for more workers, in particular those who are more mature in years as the refugees do not view them as a threat to their families.

Look for a refugee, in your community, to whom you can be the fragrance of Christ, and maybe, just like Marie, you will find them to be cheerful, hospitable and open to conversations about Jesus!

*This is a true story, but all names have been changed for security reasons.

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