Athens, Greece. A city of over half a million full of life, happiness, sadness, pain, heartbreak, hope, despair, and everything in between. A city the Lord called me to for 11 days in September.
Along with 16 fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we embarked on an incredible adventure only the Lord could orchestrate.
Day 1, 15 September, finds us at the Metro, learning the subway system that will be our main form of transportation. As we round the corner, our leader, Anne, stops when she sees a friend, Mohammed, who translated for her groups earlier that year.
Mohammed, a smart, resourceful young man who left Syria and his family in February 2016 because of war and chaos, has been living in Athens for awhile. He didn’t know Anne was coming to Athens in September. But there he was standing on the Metro platform. And there we were doing the same thing at the same time on the same day. A moment in time that could only be orchestrated by a loving and purposeful Father. Not a coincidence. Not by chance. Not by fate. Not by luck. But by Divine Appointment that I prayed for and that changed my life forever.
A friendship is born on that platform as he agrees to translate for us. It starts with a friendly hello. A smile. A few botched Arabic words and many English words on my part. A few excellent English words on his part. By God’s grace and mercy, the conversations have continued over the months since I returned to America.
Conversations about our families, cultures, faiths, lives, his studies, my teaching, his hopes and dreams, our life struggles, and my prayers. Oh so many prayers humbly lifted up out of love, grace and mercy to God’s throne of grace.
I am so blessed that Mohammed has put a face and name to the countless stories I have seen and read about the refugee crisis. His story breaks my heart, but also fills me with God’s hope and mercy.
I see how God has beautifully woven a tapestry out of the dangers, fears, unknowns, uncertainties and chaos Mohammed has experienced. However, God allows me to see the detailed front of that colorful tapestry full of God’s provision, care, love, mercy, and grace that He has and continues to bestow upon Mohammed.
God sees him. Loves him. Has plans for him. Has hope and a future for him. And if I can be even a small part of what God is doing in Mohammed’s life, then I am blessed beyond measure. Soli Deo Gloria.
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