We've been in the mountains for a little over a week, sharing what we've learned about God with this group of university students. Some are new Christians, some are curious seekers, and others have grown up with the knowledge that they or their parents could be jailed for their belief in God. We're in a “closed nation,” which means that these people are risking their own freedom to meet together and learn about God.
I've only known these students for one week, but they are like family to me. Each of us has opened up about our own lives and experiences. We talked about forgiveness today. According to the culture here, it is very rare to share with someone else about any past hurts, especially anything that could reflect poorly on one's family. But here we are, learning vulnerability and humility with each other.
Grace, who is getting married soon, talked to our discussion group about her childhood. Her brother sat beside her and listened as she spoke. Grace took her brother's hand in her own and began to pray. Tears ran down her face as she poured out her heart to God. She thanked Him for bringing her family closer together this week.
When she finished praying, she looked up. “I'd like to do one more thing,” she said. “Even when we were little, I never hugged my brother. I want to do that now.”
Grace's brother stood up as if he has been waiting for this moment his whole life, and they embraced for the first time either of them could remember!
It was so touching to see this family begin to come together. It made me think that if a moment like this could be multiplied by millions–billions–what a different nation this would be!
A nation is transformed as its individuals and families are transformed, as broken relationships are mended and as reconciliation takes place. After watching this brother and sister reconcile years of differences between each other, I had so much hope for the rest of this nation.
Please pray with us that God will continue to reconcile families together.