One of the greatest blessings of helping with the Conversational English Club is building friendships with Somali refugees. I’m excited to see what happens as our relationships move from the student-teacher realm to being friends whose families spend time together. Most of our students and my one student-friend in particular are devout Muslims, yet it is amazing to see how cultural and even religious barriers are removed by serving someone at their point of need. I love this quote from my friend Michael Ly who serves the Somali population near Seattle, WA, through Soma Communities and Peace Catalyst:
Jesus commands us to love our neighbors and even our enemies. Muslims at the least are our neighbors. They are our neighbors, period…. At worst, if they are our enemies, we still have the same command.
In the next couple of weeks, Christin and I plan to have a Somali family over for dinner. Although this may sound like a small step, we are praying for God to use us as we begin to share our lives with our new friends. I’m also excited to see how God works through our service to the Somalis to tear down preconceived notions concerning Christianity- both within the Muslim community and the larger Burlington community.
Thank you for your prayers.