This week I ready a ministry update from one of our newest partners who are finishing training in the US before moving overseas in June. When I read his story I saw almost every aspect of Fitch’s Faithful Presence and ultimately a fulfillment of Jesus commandment to us in John 15:12 and 17, “love one another”.
Here’s the story…
Kyle went to a local coffee shop where we had seen a lot of international students and refugees. Kyle noticed an Iraqi man that he had seen at the coffee shop a few times. He approached him and simply asked, “What are you studying?”
“I’m studying for the TOEFL,” the man replied, “and it’s really difficult. I have a wife and kids, but I can’t get a job until I pass this. Some of my friends have failed it thirty times. I’m so stressed that I could cry.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. That does sound really difficult,” Kyle responded. “And you know, to be honest, I cry a lot. Do you believe that it’s ok to cry?”
“Really? No, my friends and family always tell me to be strong and not to cry.”
“Have you heard of Jesus? Did you know that Jesus cried?”
“The prophet Jesus? No, I never heard that he cried!”
“Yes, he cried! And He is why I feel ok to cry. He cries in the story of Jesus and Lazarus. Can I show that story to you?”
“Sure! Here, let me Google it…”
Kyle and this Iraqi man read through all of John 11 together in the coffee shop, talking about what a good Father our God is, and that we can cry because we are safe with our Father. They talked about how Jesus cried, grieving with his people, even though Jesus knew he was going to solve everything by raising Lazarus from the dead. Then, Kyle offered to come back and have more conversations–both to help this man with studying English so he could pass the TOEFL, and to talk more about Jesus.
“You have been such a good friend,” the man shared, and before he left, Kyle gave him an Arabic New Testament so that he could continue to read stories about Jesus until they were able to meet again.
- The Table: they were at a coffee shop
- Reconciliation: acceptance of tears and our frailty
- Proclamation: “Have you heard of Jesus? Did you know that Jesus cried?”
- Least of These: Refugees have lost much
- Children… Okay so not all
- Gifting: Kyle is being a pastor and teacher
- Prayer: A praise that was also in the update– “We’re deepening our dependence on God, and growing a lot in prayer.”