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Stories about how God is working among the neediest people in Asia and the Arab World
“There are many beautiful stories of change in this place, where lives are being impacted and empowered to be a blessing to others. Those who have had so little physically have hearts overflowing with gratitude and giving.”
“I didn’t want to be alone anymore. I was so lonely I was ready to befriend anything that moved.”
“How on earth could we come alongside people with stories like these, and stand with them in appropriate ways? Even though we knew something about being foreigners and strangers, we were beginners in working with displaced people.”
“That’s how I come to live near this beach. My brother and I are sort of like Australian teens already, even though the Tibetan community here holds activities to help us remember what it means to be Tibetan.”
In Thailand, one in five children don’t live with their parents due to internal migration. Parents work long hours and live in basic conditions while their children remain in the care of relatives or orphanages. In partnership, Interserve Partners are proactively working to keep families together through wholistic support.
Christian mission “fields” are thus being redefined in the process. Thanks to people movements across the globe, many unreached peoples from overseas are now part of the diasporas right at our very doorsteps. Missions has become “from everywhere to everywhere!”
Speaking and sharing with some of these asylum seekers, we realised the there were common questions we all shared about our lives. We were all in a temporary place, wondering about our and our children’s futures.
We try to treat refugees not as numbers in a system but as people, loved by God and travelling a long and difficult road. We create spaces for them to step out of the lines, to drink tea, to learn new skills, to talk. Some share their stories more deeply, with whispered prayers in Jesus’ name.
Interserve worker Cathy explains why the voices of women are incredibly important in understanding Islam today – and introduces a
brand new forum for discussion.
Without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord (Hebrews 11:6). It is tempting to quote this verse alone. But the passage it comes from lists what the great characters of the Bible did with their faith. Faith and action weren’t just passing acquaintances, but their lifelong companions.
Working alongside with the national church is not to ‘show and tell’ what it means to follow Jesus, but to learn, discern and participate in what God has already been doing amongst the local people. It is not just to say, “Here I am, use me,” but to say, “Thank you God, for using these people to teach me about humility, trust and perseverance; thank you for giving me the privilege to witness the mission movement amongst them in a time such as this.”
For more than 30 years God has given me a consuming passion for discipling people from a Muslim background. In this process I have
always looked for key people with great spiritual potential. In reflecting on the time I shared with these people, I have learned a lot about how to minister more effectively with them.
We met Joshua* 10 years ago when we first came to East Asia as Interserve Partners. He was a humble, gentle medical doctor and qualified counselor, who worked in our counselling company where we initially gave training and supervision.
I have been privileged to serve the national church in the Middle East and to see God at work. Under the local leadership of the Anglican, Methodist, Orthodox and Presbyterian churches, I helped pastors and directors of church-run non-government organisations (NGOs), in
particular through administration for community development projects.