In this last year, we’ve mobilized two teams to respond to the greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation. As millions of refugees flee war torn countries, our hope is that the first faces they see upon arrival will be those filled with the love of Christ. One of our DTS teams worked in Lesvos, Greece where refugee boats first hit European shores. The second DTS team worked in refugee camps in Germany & Sweden. This is their story…
In just a few minutes, 40 Afghani & Syrian refugees would arrive. We couldn’t wait. For several weeks, we’d worked with them in their refugee camp in Sweden. We’d played music with them, shared food, enjoyed each other’s cultures and done our best to help teach Swedish (which is totally crazy because we don’t even know Swedish!) But today would take our friendships with these precious people to a whole new level.
The halal burgers sizzled on the grills at the park. John climbed a light pole to hang the piñata we had made for the event. And then dark clouds rolled in just as our new friends arrived.
Despite the threat of rain, we spread our blankets on the ground and ate with our guests. Our friend who organized the event began to share a story. Everyone listened as he talked about a son who shamed his father by squandering his inheritance. At the end of the story, the laughter we had all shared together died down. A woman couldn’t wipe away her tears fast enough. Our friend shocked our guests when he told them how the father welcomed his son back into his arms.
“Jesus is like this father,” our friend said. “He can’t wait to welcome us all into His family.”
That day, 10 Muslim Afghanis and Syrians joined the Christian family!
Our hearts were full as we spent the rest of the afternoon playing games. The darkening sky finally released its downpour just as the money strike hit the piñata. Candy and rain fell to the ground. Everyone rushed to snatch the candy before seeking shelter from the rain. But by then, it was too late and we were too wet! We returned to the rain and danced and played in the rain for hours. In that moment, we were no longer Americans or Swedes, Afghanis or Syrians, Muslims or Christians. We were just children of God enjoying the rain together!