West Asia Reflection #1

Join us on 20 January 2019 at 6:30pm in the sanctuary for the

West Asia Treats and  Team Report

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Ryan and Lorene with our 5(!) huge suitcases of clothing for Syrian refugees

Bread and the Spirit

By, Lorene Eberhardt

When I think about our time in West Asia, two themes keep coming to mind.  The bread is plentiful and abundant throughout the country: a staple of every meal, loaves overflowing in shops littering the streets.  Jesus tells us He is the bread of life, and every time I saw a loaf or slice I found myself praying that the people of this land would come to know the One who can satisfy their hunger.
In the city by the Lake the hunger sits quietly below the surface.  People move around at a relaxed pace, stopping for conversations, sharing bread and olives, practicing their English with the funny Americans.  Occasionally a question or comment reveals the deeper hunger, a tiny wave breaking through the tranquility.
In the Big City, the scene feels more familiar to us from DC; locals and foreign visitors alike move past one another in a rush, never making eye contact, looking either at their phones or at where they’re trying to go, not at who is next to them.  Somehow you can feel the hunger more palpably here; like the seas and straits that surround this city, bigger waves and disturbances crest more frequently.  There are reminders of political upheavals, clashes of secularism and religious fervor, and the daily pressures related to cosmopolitan life.
Our trip was a week of opening our eyes to the work of the Holy Spirit, and stepping into his open invitation to join Him in the work He is already doing. Our team stepped out of vans to pray with fruit sellers, out in faith to buy an axe, into a room where refugee women are welcomed and handed clothing and diapers for their children, and then up in front of other Christians to share our stories of trusting Jesus with our desires.  Conversations that might have felt scary or unfamiliar back at home were somehow made comfortable and tender, through the transformational power of His Spirit.  There were multiple occasions in which I opened my mouth and heard His words on my tongue.
I’m grateful for the eight days of opportunity to see His Spirit work, and filled with hope and anticipation for how He continues to satisfy the deepest hungers both in West Asia and here in my own life.