While at a Samaritan’s Purse sewing project in Arbat Camp, one team member felt the love of a refugee and feels called to share Christ with her.
Hallie Powers is a finance officer working with Samaritan’s Purse in northern Iraq.
The dreary rain and the dismal cold have set in over Arbat Camp. We arrived this morning to two-day’s worth of drizzling rain, standing water, and thick mud covering the ground. It was so cold that we could see our breath. All I could think about was what the previous night must have been like for the Syrian refugees.
I thought about the cold temperatures combined with the constant rain and leaky tents. I thought about how the refugees had to leave their tents whenever they needed to use the bathroom or take a shower. My heart ached for them as we drove up to the sewing tent in our four-wheel drive vehicle needed just to make it through the mud.
I watched as many worked to fortify their homes against the rain and mud that seeped into the floors of the tents. We opened our tent and found that it was leaking, which made for wet socks and feet for all of our seamstresses. Regardless of the miserable conditions outside, the women worked cheerfully and managed to cut and sew 34 dresses throughout the day. In the first two weeks of the project, the ladies made a total of six sets of pajamas and 62 dresses.
READ MORE: Sewing Warm Clothes for Syrian Refugees
During our team’s daily devotion time before we left for the camp, I shared Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” I also shared Galatians 5:13. “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
I encouraged our staff to look for ways to serve the women with love today. Not only did Jesus tell us to serve and minister to each other’s needs, He also lived it out. He washed dirty feet. He touched lepers and the unclean of society. I suggested that we should not only be thankful for Jesus Christ, His life, and His ultimate sacrifice, but we should also imitate Him in the things that He’s called us to do.
A Servant’s Heart
My goal for the day was to find ways to serve the women with love. But God had different plans. I wasn’t feeling well, so I took half an hour to lie down in the backseat of our truck, hoping that I could recuperate and rejoin the women inside the tent.
After about 10 minutes, the back door opened. I looked up to see our precious cleaner, Shukreea, standing outside in the rain with a steaming glass of tea. I sat up to take the tea, and she climbed in the backseat with me and started rubbing my shoulders.
“I am supposed to be the one serving Shukreea, Lord, not her serving me!” I silently said to God.
Then, she did the unthinkable – she began rubbing my feet. My socks were wet and dirty, but she rubbed my feet anyway. Tears began forming in my eyes.
“Lord, she doesn’t even know You or what it means that You came to serve others. Yet she serves with the same love with which You call Your followers to serve.”
I was so humbled by her servant’s heart that I could hardly contain my emotions. She was an example of love, and she doesn’t even know Christ … yet.
PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that Shukreea will come to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and begin to use her servant’s heart to serve the one, true God. Please pray that God will give me an opportunity to share with her about the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ.