“I go to the homes of the ladies, and I hear the kids singing those powerful songs. …That’s just so powerful that children are proclaiming truth,” says Amineh*, OM Near East field worker and leader of the children's music programme.
The children learn this song and others every week at a music programme centred around Arabic gospel songs, designed to reach young Syrian refugee children and their mothers. The programme provides time and space for the children to play and an opportunity for Amineh and her team to connect with their mothers.
“Our goal is to have the children interact and have fun and for the mom and the baby to get closer to each other. But our biggest goal is to tell about Jesus, who was also a refugee [to Egypt],” Amineh explains.
Many of the women hear this message for the first time at the music group, she states; understanding how Jesus relates to them so personally touches them and keeps them coming back every week. After a woman visits the music programme twice, members from the ministry team try to visit her home and ask if she is interested in studying the Bible.
“We love hanging out with ladies in the morning, but sometimes we just talk about marriage, and we talk about our kids. We want to go deeper than that,” Amineh says. “We can get so much deeper with each other if we study the Bible together.”
“They never heard [truth from the Bible] before, so now they have. So that’s success, praise God; these women have heard.”
When the women do show interest in pursuing a life of Christ, the team invites them to help run different parts of the ministry, from preparing coffee to leading the puppet show. This opens many opportunities to share the gospel by helping women find their talents and giving them a sense of ownership in the programme.
Participating in the operations of the programme and leading the Bible studies also help the women understand what it looks like to follow Christ every day, whether or not they decide to take that step.
“It becomes [their] DNA,” Amineh says. When the women become believers, they know, “Ok, this is what we do, I know exactly,” she notes. “But of course, then the Holy Spirit will lead them so much more than before.”
Even though not everyone on the team has made steps to becoming a believer, “God can use anyone,” she says. One team member, who has long debated whether or not to get baptised, explained to one of the mothers how much Jesus had done for her. Upon hearing this, the mother was appalled.
“It’s one thing to hear it from a foreigner,” Amineh says. “[But] for her hear that from another lady—like, here’s a lady who’s Muslim who dares to go to church—that’s big for somebody who’s never entered a church [service].”
Some women read and study the Bible, only to decide not to follow Jesus. However, many of the women continue to come every week, even as their children grow older and they no longer have young children to bring with them. Amineh and her team faithfully pray over these ladies, that the gospel would transform their lives and communities.
“The prayer is maybe God is working, but you don’t see [it]. So when we get discouraged we always get back to [the fact that] God has called us to be faithful [and] glorify him.”
*Name changed for security
OM Communications intern Jana Eller is a student studying journalism and missions and loves to see how God is moving among the nations. She is always up for spontaneous adventures and exploring new things.
Published: Thursday, 21 December 2017
Credit: Jana Eller