It all began with a phone call. Tiffany*, a long-term worker in the Near East, received a call one sunny afternoon in September informing her that a Syrian refugee family needed somewhere to stay.
"They have been staying in a hotel, and now their money has run out," Tiffany was told. "They are out on their own now, on the street."
Tiffany was aware that their options were limited. Syrian refugees continue to pour over the border into neighboring countries daily, making it difficult to find available accommodation. Tiffany said it didn't take long for her to realize that her own home, where she lives with her husband and their children, was the obvious option.
"In our house we have a guest room, and I thought I should offer it to them," Tiffany said. "We have this extra space, and I felt I couldn't just tell them to go away."
The family, a woman named Amira* and her four children, is from a Muslim background and has been living in Tiffany’s home for two months now. God has worked in the hearts of this family in powerful ways since they arrived. "There has been an openness to the gospel," Tiffany said. "We go to church on Sundays and Amira actually asked to come along."
Amira was blown away by her first church experience. What struck her the most was the genuine love and forgiveness displayed by the believers she met. A few days earlier, several people had been killed during a political assassination in a neighbouring area. Someone at church that Sunday lovingly prayed for those at fault, as a response to the tragic event.
"I have never been anywhere where I have heard anything like this," Amira exclaimed. "In my country it is really an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and we would have prayed curses on these people, not blessings. I have never met anybody in my life who prays for the people responsible for an attack."
After her first time at church, Amira raved about how incredible it was, so the next week some of her children asked to come along, too.
"You can really see the change in this family," Tiffany observed. Initially, Amira's oldest son Abdullah* defended his Muslim faith, but God has been mightily at work in his heart. Recently Abdullah went to church, and Tiffany watched him fall on his knees during a time of worship. He later informed her that he had heard the voice of Jesus saying in Arabic, "Ask me." So he asked Jesus to heal his brother, who has been ill. And then his second request was, "I want to know you more."
Amira has seen Jesus in her dreams over the past few weeks. In one particular dream, Jesus held her hand. He said to her, "Amira, I will be with you wherever you go." If she hasn't already given her life to Christ, she is very close.
Praise God working in the hearts of Amira and her children, drawing them to Himself. Please pray that each member of the family would surrender his/her life to Christ, and pray for Tiffany and her family as they minister to them.
A student at Sydney Missionary & Bible College, Rachel Morris has exchanged a hot Australian summer for the frigid winter adventure of a journalism internship in the Near East. Rachel is excited to experience just a little of all God is doing for His glory in this part of the world.