The Heart of the Lord is Towards those who Suffer
Wed , 4-4-2012 1420 views
House of Light Team ministers at a prison for Sudanese Refugees
Ministering to the Sudanese Refugees is one of the most humbling experiences I have encountered in my life. After traveling several hours through the Negev Desert, the House of Light’s ministry team reached the prison facility where hundreds of Sudanese Refugees are held. Upon arriving, our team of twelve was divided into four smaller groups which went to 8 different camps of refugees. I was paired with an Arab minister and slowly we marched to the unknown in ‘Camp 4’, which housed over 300 Arabic & Tigrinya speaking refugees.
We set up a keyboard and I played several Arabic hymns. As these songs were unfamiliar to the group, the Arab minister took the time and care to explain the significance of the songs’ words. Many of the young men were eager to join in singing, and there was evidence that even a simple and unfamiliar song brought hope to their hearts. After a short time of worship, my partner shared a brief message about how powerful the love of Our Heavenly Father is. It’s so vast, that God sent His beloved Son to the cross to die for us. Despite language barriers, it was evident that even these men were blessed to have us come and share in fellowship with them.
The percentage of people who listened to the minister’s message was surprisingly low. However, as soon as we began distributing Bibles, men seemed to appear out nowhere. We could not open the protective book-casing fast enough to give God’s word to outstretched hands. Tigrinya, English, Amharic, French and Arabic Bibles disappeared faster than I could have imagined. It is my understanding, that many of these men were so eager to take the Bible, simply because first: it’s in their own language, second: they do not have anything else to own. Regardless of their motivation, we praise God for their hunger to have His Word, and we pray and trust that He will speak to them through it. All of the refugees were also given a gift bag containing a variety of snack foods.
In the camp which secures the women and children God’s spirit was moving to touch the lives of the refugees. As we played recorded worship songs in Tigrinya, the women, young ladies, and children joined us in dancing. Even those who remained sitting were smiling and clapping. I was blessed to see, even if was just for a short time, that these people found a reason to have joy. We praise God for the young lady who translated us from Arabic to Tigrinya. She spoke with such enthusiasm; with all her heart, she wanted everyone to understand the hope of God’s love and grace in Jesus. The majority of refugees come from a Muslim background, but some professed to be Christians. Two women specifically expressed their gratitude for the blessing and encouragement they received from our presence there.
After their time in this prison facility, the refugees will be released to find life and jobs in the big city of Tel Aviv. It is clear that these men, women, and children are in great need: spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The truth is, that like any other ministry, we cannot accurately measure the result of our efforts. The impact is greatest in the spiritual world rather than the physical. These physical problems that they face are too big for any one event to solve (such as King’s Kids and other ministries taking warm meals and going to Tel-Aviv old bus station where these people spend their time). We can only pray and trust that the words of truth that were sown into their lives were not in vain. God holds these people in His hands, and although we do not even know the extent of their needs, He does. May the grace of His loving presence surround and protect these precious people.
This article is also available in Nederlands //