Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tutapona-We Will Be Healed

It was later in the day when we arrived.  Our translator, Mr. Mahammud was a charming man and one who you would just instantly like.  It became very evident to me that the organization that we had come with prayed often, invested much and worked so hard to develop long lasting relationships.  They have an office and staff onsite serving in the refugee community and it showed everywhere.  The day had been filled with stories that were hauntingly familiar of people suffering greatly in so many ways.  Yet all of their stories had a common element that ran through them all, Hope.  Not unrealistic hope, but a slow and steadily building fire that reminded them that they would be healed.  I'd been here before, but I fell in love with what I saw and what I heard.
As we approached the house, we were greeted with the sweetest and most excited faces.  Again, this was evidence of relationships forged by the Lord.  Hugs and handshakes abounded and we were invited in to get comfortable and sit and listen.  This family had the marks of true suffering and yet it wasn't defining them.  As they talked through their stories, the pain seemed to still be very raw very real and rightly so, as they went through unimaginable things.  The loss, the hurt and the fear were so evident and yet again, the conversation was filled with praises and a growing sense that this family had embraced a new normal with the incredible love, help and training from Tutapona and the outpouring of support from the Somali community.
As the story finished, our host had prepared some incredible Somali food.  I am not even kidding, it was outstanding.  As I sat and processed all that I had heard, I happened to mention that I really liked our hosts Ma'awis.  He promptly went out, took it off, came back and put it on me.  It couldn't be a gift, I thought.  I didn't come here to take from refugees.  Yet as it was later explained to me, the love and support that we brought had great worth.  As we ate and laughed and tried on traditional Somali clothes, I felt as though I was with my extended family.  I felt so welcomed and despite a language barrier, we are got to speak a common language this day; laughter.  As I went to take off the Ma;awis, my host pointed and said, "don't take that off, it's your".  Mine?  It's too much!  No, that belongs to you now.  I couldn't believe this incredible kindness, this sweetness from a family that refused to let trauma define them.  I wondered how we'd be received, they knew me as a Christian and a Bible teacher.  Yet there was one unifying element there; they knew that we wanted the best for their hearts.  As we left this family, our host, hugs abounded, smiles radiated and it seemed we had all been incredibly overwhelmed by this time.  Our host, through his arms around my neck, hugged me on the left and kissed my neck and then again on the right.  I had no words, but our translator did, "Justin, to put a smile on the face of refugees is no small thing".
My Lord, I pray over this family and may you receive the abundant thankfulness from me for allowing me to meet them and spend time with them.  Thank You for that immense blessing and privilege.  God please continue to pour out Your love on them as only You can do.  May we and may I even continue in relationship with them.  God help me as I get to teach Your Word to Mr. Mahamuud, and that He would embrace You as his Savior.  What loving God You are and I am so grateful for who You are and what You are allowing me to do.  Please pour out abundant blessings on Candice Lassey, Alicia Searl and the Tutapona staff who are entrenched in Your loving service to refugees.  This is all for Your glory, AMEN.
Is it you?  This is how you answer:  Ahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  I did it right.
 I have no idea why people were laughing.  It's a mystery.
Somali GQ has been calling me non-stop about this photo.  I'm rocking my new friendship and my new Ma'awis.  So honored to have had this privilege.

1 comment:

  1. Haha those pictures! We really do rock the Somali look! But in all seriousness, it was such an honour to have you along last week, and such a blessing to see you connect with our Somali family! God bless you, and thank you for the prayers!