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Catalyst 2.0 Prayer Guide : They Comforted Us by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

They Comforted Us   

by Carolyn and Davis Fulk

Matthew 25:35: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.   

During the summer of 2013, we journeyed to Ottawa, Canada, to work in two refugee ministries. Until then, most of our understanding of refugees had been gained from watching the nightly news. During our days at Matthew House, we prepared meals, cleaned, held babies, visited with residents, and sorted welcome kits. At the Furniture Bank, we moved furniture and helped clients select items for their new homes. These duties were rewarding because we knew we were helping others. But the most rewarding part of our trip was the interaction we had with the refugees and staff. We met refugees from Bulgaria, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Afghanistan.   

We learned that we can make friends and have fun even if we can’t speak someone else’s language. Refugees make many sacrifices as they leave their home country. Roda, one of our friends from the Congo, had been forced to flee, leaving her four year old daughter with friends she hardly knew.  She now sends money back to take care of her. Another friend, Cristobel, has begun a new life in Canada, but sorely misses the influence of her mother as she is raising a beautiful boy named Michael. David, who manages the Matthew House and has recently become a Canadian citizen, celebrates his new status and the ability it offers – he’ll be able to travel to see his mother and siblings for the first time in nearly 20 years.  All of his family have now fled Zimbabwe in fear of the dictator Mugabe. Paradis, now a college student, arrived in Ottawa as a nine year old from Iran.  She spent almost the first year of her life in Canada sleeping on the floor of her family’s apartment because they had no beds.  Now she interns at Furniture Bank, insuring that other refugees have such necessities.   

Through it all, what struck us most were the determination and positive spirit that the refugees shared. They ate with us, laughed with us, carried us on their backs, and played soccer with us. They prayed with us, in English and once in French – perhaps one of the more moving moments in our visit. They could have appeared anxious and fearful; instead they were trusting and joyful, comforting us with their spirit.  These friends became living examples that God’s grace is sufficient for all of our needs.   

We are grateful that the SEND initiative of Second Baptist made this trip possible for us.         

As we continue to participate in Catalyst, may we do so with generous hearts from a deep trust and confidence that God’s abundance is sufficient for all that is before us. We pray that our lives are freed from anxiousness, and we continue to dwell in the joy of extravagant generosity.
Posted by Terri Soper at 12:00 AM
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