Monday, September 26, 2016

Prayer Calendar September 25-30,2016

Praise God for the wonderful examples given in the Bible about how we are to treat foreigners.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Open Arms

Kristen Tropf, Volunteer, Spain
The Call, July-September 2016

It’s said you never truly understand someone until you walk a mile in his shoes. I never imagined I’d experience life as an immigrant, but several years ago God led me to live in a foreign country in order to work with immigrants. An immigrant living alongside immigrants. I didn’t expect it to be easy living in a foreign country, but it was much harder than I expected. Between language learning, government paperwork, culture shock, learning how to do simple tasks in a different context, and being far from family, sometimes just getting through the day was a victory!

As I adjusted to life in a foreign country and got to know my students and listen to their stories, I got a close-up view of their difficulties. Many came here in search of a better life or more opportunities but have only been disappointed with the outcome. Others feel alone and isolated—far away from loved ones and at odds with the new culture. At times they feel unaccepted and unwelcome in this new land. 

It’s here in this vulnerable state, far from all that is familiar, that God gives us the precious opportunity to be Jesus in the flesh to them. We have the privilege to show His acceptance, love, and grace. We can welcome them with open arms. God has always had a soft spot in His heart for the marginalized—the foreigner, the widow, the orphan, the poor. He longs for us, His redeemed people, to also share His heart of compassion.

Here are a few practical suggestions for ways we can reach out to immigrants or those new to our country:
  • Invite someone from another country to your home for a meal
  • Offer to practice English conversation with them
  • Learn about their culture and worldview—they have rich experiences to share
  • Make yourself available to assist with healthcare processes or enrolling children in school
May we remember that we also are foreigners here, awaiting our permanent home, our true country. And then may we bring a part of that kingdom here to earth by loving those who are far from home.
ACT
ACT: Kristen offers some very practical ways to welcome immigrants with open arms. Sometimes it’s easier to make new friends alongside someone else. This month, grab a trusted friend and ask them to help you intentionally befriend someone from another culture, using one of Kristen’s suggestions. 
PrayPRAY: Praise God for volunteers like Kristen, who are willing to “walk a mile” in the shoes of immigrants.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Prayer Calendar September 18-24,2016


Praise God for volunteers like Kristen Tropf, who are willing to "walk a mile" in the shoes of immigrants.

Coming tomorrow on The Call blog:

"It’s said you never truly understand someone until you walk a mile in his shoes. I never imagined I’d experience life as an immigrant, but several years ago God led me to live in a foreign country in order to work with immigrants. An immigrant living alongside immigrants. I didn’t expect it to be easy living in a foreign country, but it was much harder than I expected. Between language learning, government paperwork, culture shock, learning how to do simple tasks in a different context, and being far from family, sometimes just getting through the day was a victory!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Escaping Home

Adhanom Hidug, Missionary, South Sudan
The Call, July-September 2016

Escaping HomeNine years ago, my friend and I had to escape from a system that not only wanted to stop me from practicing my Christian faith, but also resolved to put me in prison just because I followed Jesus. We walked for four days and three nights to enter a Sudanese border city. It was a very risky journey. The Eritrean border patrol units crisscross the terrain near the Sudanese border, and they have a “shoot to kill or injure” order against anyone leaving the country illegally. If we were to try to leave the country legally, it would be like a rat teasing a cat in an open field where it cannot hide. 

God allowed us to walk through the camp of these units unnoticed. I wondered if He had made us invisible to them. We crossed a dry river without being physically aware of it. We only realized that it was a river bed after finding ourselves on the other side of it. God changed the route we had planned to follow and made us follow a route He planned for us. As we slept for three nights in the open semi-desert, He protected us from all sorts of fierce wild animals, and He made us survive the extreme heat. He was in charge of our lives.
Throughout my journey, I believed the words: “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared” as if they were said to me (Exodus 23:20 NIV). I kept remembering Jesus, who had to escape to Egypt as a baby. I would pray, “Jesus, You made a risky journey while You were a baby. Please keep me safe.” 

While I was living with my family as a refugee in Kenya, I would pray, “Jesus, You once were a refugee in Egypt, and we are now refugees. Please, take care of us.” 

As refugees we had many challenges, but our main challenge was harassment and extortion by the police. However, our challenges strengthened my faith in the Lord. Now that I am in my newly adopted home among the friendly Canadians in Edmonton, Alberta, I consider it a noble act and a ministry to regularly pray for Eritreans, Syrians, and people of other nationalities who are going through similar circumstances that I went through. The Lord delivers!

Pray for persecuted Christians
PRAY: Acquaint yourself with specific types of suffering and persecution that Christians face around the world today. Pray for these Christians and their persecutors as you read the Word, especially passages like the stoning of Stephen in Acts.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Prayer Calendar September 11-17,2016

Pray for Christians who are suffering because of their faith.

"Nine years ago, my friend and I had to escape from a system that not only wanted to stop me from practicing my Christian faith, but also resolved to put me in prison just because I followed Jesus. We walked for four days and three nights to enter a Sudanese border city. It was a very risky journey. The Eritrean border patrol units crisscross the terrain near the Sudanese border, and they have a “shoot to kill or injure” order against anyone leaving the country illegally. If we were to try to leave the country legally, it would be like a rat teasing a cat in an open field where it cannot hide." More of this story coming tomorrow on The Call blog. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hello Neighbor!

Hello Neighbor!


a missionary serving in the Middle East
The Call, July-September 2016

Hello Neighbor
Chinatown in San Francisco, Native American reservations in South Dakota, and the French-Canadian culture of Quebec – my childhood vacations spawned a love of travel and an appreciation for North America’s diversity. Over the years, I’ve had many opportunities to travel and learn about people and cultures outside North America, too. Most recently, I traveled to parts of the Middle East. There is so much to experience and learn! Food—I love falafel, tabbouleh, and karkede. Geography—what beauty watching a desert sunset and enjoying the bustle of a modern city. Biblical history—it certainly comes alive while walking through Ephesus and beside the Jordan River.  

Last year, more than a million people fled their homelands due to war and persecution. Many of these people came from the Middle East and are Muslims. I’ll admit, before I made my first trip to the Middle East over five years ago, I knew very little about the Middle East and even less about Islam.  

In the years since that first trip, I’ve tried to learn about this part of our world. Learning about people and places is easier than ever in this global and digital age.

I highly recommend the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Dr. Nabeel Qureshi. This book is more than a book about religion; it’s about a religious man and his search for truth. I invite you to join Dr. Qureshi, an American-born Muslim, as he weighs Christianity against Islam. It’s a fascinating read!

Writer Os Guinness said, “Fresh, striking, highly illuminating, and sometimes heartbreaking, Qureshi’s story is worth a thousand textbooks. It should be read by Muslims and all who care deeply about our Muslim friends and fellow-citizens.”

It may not be possible for all of us to travel to the Middle East, but the world is coming to us. People from the Middle East and elsewhere are coming as university students, professionals, and refugees. This book will help you understand Muslims as you meet and interact in your own neighborhoods.

This month, begin developing your good neighbor skills by trying one of the actions on the right side of this page.


ACT
ACT: Get a little taste of the Middle East. Make tabbouleh for your family and share some with a family in your neighborhood. Here’s a great recipe.
GoGO: Sharing your faith can be intimidating. Attend a one-day training event this year and learn how to share your faith with Muslims. The Crescent Project holds a great event called Bridges. Learn more here.