Twenty-Four hours ago there was a bombing, the city my wife and I currently call home, as well as a nearby industrial city. A number of Christians were killed as well as Muslim’s attempting to subdue the attacker. Since I arrived, over 150 people have been killed by extremists and well over 20 Muslim security personnel attempting to create a safe environment for all of us. Just as with our police in the U.S., I am thankful for these men and women who are standing up for their fellow citizens.
You might ask why are we here, why did we walk away from incredible friends, a home, community, family and meaningful work to come here? The answer to that question, asked by our Arab friends as well, is simply we listened to what God wanted from us and we obeyed.
My wife was called to work with children in an International School, owned by Muslims, the school does all of their teaching in English. She is paid a good local wage in this country with a per capita income of $3600 per year. God brought her to this point in her life to use the skills she used back home, overseas. She will gladly say this is the best teaching year she has ever had.
She is having a significant impact on the students, the parents and the staff, both professionally and in her efforts to breakdown barriers. The removal of distrust between our cultures is key. Letting them get to know her/us, is critical. When I walked with her to school today, her 7 year-old students hugged her and me, thankful to see us. It was amazing, rewarding.
Similarly, I was called to work with small businesses just like I did in the U.S. I travel around the Arab world consulting with B4T business owners. Where the owners are diligently working, we are seeing real transformation. Last week I spoke to one that I have worked with for a year who reported: In the last week work has been oozing out of our ears and we are now facing this “good” problem. My partner and I are addressing this by moving to a larger commercial space – which we have found. We should double our workforce by summer, too.
I work with companies that are creating jobs and transforming lives in their sphere of influence. They are bringing hope and love to these wonderful people who seriously are struggling with problems that are very difficult for Westerners to understand, let alone cope with. Additionally, I am a mentor to young men and women – frankly, it has been a wonderful experience.
My wife and I are thankful to serve in this region. We are not going to solve all the problems here, but we are pleased to have shared our lives with the people we have met. It has sincerely been an honor and a privilege.
Please pray that the churches here reach out to the Muslim casualties’ families and honor them for their sacrifice.