Our Thursday in I was full. Full of everything that a day can be filled with. We were tourists in a new place looking to explore with a purpose. This sent us to an afternoon prayer walk. We walked and walked and stopped for lunch and Turkish coffee. We walked some more and stopped for Starbucks. We kept walking and took group pictures by the sea. We cried, we laughed, we basked in the sunshine. While we walked and stopped and did all of these touristy things, we prayed for those around us. We prayed for this land, this new place and these new people that have gotten stuck in all of our hearts.
At the end of the afternoon, we stood atop the ancient Acropolis. We prayed over the city from the highest point to close our work for the day and put our prayers back in God’s hands. As we prayed, two young girls loitered around us timidly asking for spare change. They stared at our focused circle with cocked heads and wide eyes not understanding our words.
At one point, Nadia wandered out of our circle toward the girls, oblivious to their presence. As she meticulously removed gravel from her shoes, Nadia eventually noticed the local girls who were now shifting their curious gazes between her and our circle.
The girls looked as if they were about Nadia’s age yet they appeared to have come from opposite ends of the world. The two girls were alone with disheveled hair and clothes so covered in dust that the true colors were indistinguishable. Next to them was Nadia in her brightly colored dress. Nadia knows God’s love for her and the brokenness of this world. Who knows what these two girls have been surrounded by as they have grown up?
As we began singing;
Every fear; has no place; at the sound of your great name
The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of your great name…
I was struck by the girls’ wonder and curiosity with our actions and deeds. They were intrigued by us and grateful for our generosity. They saw our love for one another and for them.
What if all strangers that we met had a childlike curiosity for the gospel and our worship? What if the girls could miraculously understand our words? What if they encountered other workers with similar prayer and worship patterns – would their intrigue grow? Would they start asking questions?
Liz B. and the I crew