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Love Like the Father: A REACH Update

By Sarah, Team Eurasia

I've met a lot of people in these last five months of outreach. People who have stories, dreams, passions, fears, and futures just like me. During our first three months, we worked with refugees, but they're so much more than that. They are my precious friends. I got to meet people who have lost all hope, who are scared, who are angry, and who are lost. They dream about freedom and what it looks like, what it feels like. They crave it. They used to have it all. My friends used to have jobs that paid well. They used to have cute little houses with little white fences around them. They used to have nice cars and closets of clothes. They used to have friends to hang out with and things to do. Then one day a war started or some other upheaval, and they had to leave. Everything was gone, ripped right out from under them. The only thing they have left is the pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

During the last two months, we have been helping college students practice English. These are also some of my precious friends. They are happy and safe. They have lots of energy and make their dreams into reality. They have such eager minds and want to soak up all they can. They work hard in school. They aren't afraid to make mistakes. When you see a person so passionate about what they are learning or doing, there's a light in their eyes that sparks with excitement. It's so inspiring to watch students show me what they care about. They know they have so much potential ahead of them. They have the world at their fingertips, but these friends also have pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

These are two different places with different people. Almost opposites if you ask me, at least that's what I thought until a few days ago when I was writing in my journal and came across these verses in John 19:

"Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son.' He said to his disciple, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, the disciple took her into his home” (vv. 26-27 NIRV).

That's it. These two verses. The first time God led me to them I thought, What? This can't be right. They're so simple. All of a sudden I heard a little whisper say,

"Oh my precious child, these aren't two different people. It doesn't matter what they have or don't have. It doesn't matter where they live or lived. It doesn't matter if they are successful or not. It doesn't matter if they are going to college or if they are in a camp. What matters is that these precious people are mine. They are mine and yet they are broken. They need me. They need my love to mend them, to make them whole and to remind them that they are found. I haven't forgotten about them. Refugee or college student, it doesn't matter."

“When I was dying on the cross, looking at my mom and my disciple, I was looking at you. I was talking to you.”I wrote this down in my journal and just sat in awe, in amazement. I felt my tiny peanut-sized brain explode as our Father revealed this truth to me. Oh, but he wasn't done. He continued,

"When I was dying on the cross, looking at my mom and my disciple, I was looking at you. I was talking to you. My dear child, this is how I want you to live. I want you to love people abundantly. I want you to care deeply for people. I want you to take them in just like you would your own son or your own mother. Reveal my love to my broken people and watch me work in them. Watch me change their hearts from hard to soft. Watch them come to me.”

What a blessing that we can simply love and care for people. And that's enough. We can live in freedom because of what our Father did.

Please pray for this team as they finish up their time in outreach. Pray for continued energy, strength, and motivation as they care for those around them.