Syrian Woman
a Syrian refugee worries over her future (Kathryn Berry/OM news)

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How does one describe a trip that, in many ways, has forever altered the way I relate to God? How does one effectively convey the overwhelming feelings of encouragement and inspiration that have accompanied every day of the 30-day journey?

Twenty-three hours of airports and airplanes transported me from my comfortable Bible college bubble in Sydney, Australia—where I thought I knew what it meant to fully rely on God—to a completely different world: the Middle East.

As a blonde 20-something traveling on my own, I don't exactly blend in here.

While I have encountered a number of challenges on a surface level—lack of reliable Internet access, unpredictability when it comes to hot showers, difficulty in communicating with taxi drivers—the real growth has occurred in my heart.

During my journalism internship in the Middle East, I had the privilege of meeting with more than 12 long-term workers in numerous locations across two countries, discovering the many ways in which God is changing lives.  

I recorded more than six hours of audio interviews—six hours that encouraged, challenged and inspired me. Six hours of proof that God touches hearts in this part of the world.

Amongst the mosques and the calls to prayer, the hijabs and the on-going political instability, God is moving in the Middle East.

Our Father is using the tragic circumstances of civil war in Syria to work in the hearts of Kurdish Muslims, bringing them to Himself.

He continues to encourage and sustain workers who have been ministering to the Bedouins, despite seeing no fruit amongst these people in more than seven years of faithful labour.

The unwavering faith of a Syrian believer named Anna* reduced me to tears. Anna is a refugee. She fled her home along with her husband and three children when the fighting in Syria continued to escalate.

They found a small apartment in a neighboring country, and her husband has found temporary work, but everything in her life is completely unstable right now. Anna has no idea when, or if, they will ever see their home again. Her eldest daughter may not be able to take her final university exams. 

Despite the copious amounts of uncertainty staring Anna in the face every day, she chooses to view her life through eyes of faith and through eyes of opportunity. When I spent time with Anna, she was making plans to share the Word in her new neighborhood.

She was praying about knocking on doors and giving away Bibles and Christian DVDs. Anna doesn't want to waste this season; she believes it is important to continue glorifying God, even while she waits on Him.

Encouraging, challenging and inspiring: God is growing my dependence on Him alone. He is showing me that I can serve Him anywhere in the world, because it is nothing I do—it is Him at work in me. 

What a mighty God we serve!

*Name changed

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 Middle East. Rachel has loved every minute of experiencing just a little of all God is doing for His glory in this part of the world. Contact your local OM office for more information about communications internships in the Middle East for journalism, photography, videography and graphic design.

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