Every Wednesday is shower day for the women at Helping Hands. This is a time where they let women and children come in to take showers, do laundry, spend time together and eat lunch. This is a less structured day, but still a lot of fun (and tiring too!). Since today was only for women, Nick wasn’t with us, but he helped at a men’s shower day at another ministry center a few blocks from us.
Similar to yesterday, we could work in the kitchen, spend time with kids, or sit with the adults. While Bekah served in the kitchen, Liz and I spent most of the time with the kids. Since they do not have a structured program on Wednesday, we are in the main area with all the adults as well. It is nice to be able to interact with everyone as well as watch the women interact with one another. This is one of the only times these refugees are able to simply spend time together and have their heads uncovered for a period of time. I enjoyed being able to play and laugh with the kids while playing with playdough or trying to teach them Uno when neither of us can understand the other persons language.
As much as I enjoyed the day, one of my favorite parts was during our debrief time. All of the staff gathered to share how they saw God at work and then we ended our time in prayer. There are two stories I wanted to share: 1. There was one refugee who came to know the Lord a year ago. During the devotional time, she got up and shared her story with the women and said how she found Jesus and Jesus is the Truth. She was also to tell the women that she used to be Muslim but how God changed her life. She was very brave! 2. There was another woman who had three precious little boys. There is a chance that this is the last time that they will come to Helping Hands because they may be going back to Afghanistan. One of the staff members asked if she could be forward with her. The staff member proceeded to tell her about Jesus and why they do what they do at Helping Hands. The lady kept saying that she sees the difference. She sees how we are actually living out our faith and not just following something blindly. She asked questions and talked more with the staff member and another one of the ladies. They prayed for her and laid hands on her. While she is still unsure, she is questioning and willing to listen. Pray for her with us that she may come to know the Lord and the depth of this love. The boldness of the staff and their deep desire for the refugees is amazing.
There is more that I could share about the stories we are hearing, but know that people are hungry. The refugees are physically hungry and it truly is a blessing to help them in such a practical way, but it is evident that they are also spiritually hungry. So many of them want to know more about God. They want to understand how is it different from what they have been taught all their lives as Muslims. Some are starting to sense God’s presence and feel his peace which is so different than a lot of what they are dealing with. The harvest truly is plentiful and we have a faithful God!