Last week, we started our second English course and art therapy program for our beloved Iraqi refugees. In the English course, we aim to teach the women survival English so they can communicate with others when they immigrate. These beneficiaries range in age from 14 to more than 70! Some took English in their schools back in Iraq, but others didn’t receive any education.
Two old-yet-young-at-heart ladies were sitting together in the very front seats of class. I guessed they were in their seventies. One is named Shamma* and the other Grace*. Neither had ever been to school, but I could see how eager they were to learn. They had a sparkle in their eyes that I’d never seen before, a sparkle of hope maybe, in spite of the difficult circumstances they had been through.
In our English courses, we try to cover all skills including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Shamma and Grace were able to repeat some English words after me and by the end of the first hour, were able to make small conversation. When we started with the class work in the second hour, both Shamma and Grace were not comfortable with the idea of writing. However, they both had huge smiles when they held their pens and wrote their name in English for the first time in their life.
These people who feel heard, understood, and appreciated by us in Purpose Haven are the ones who are more likely to open their hearts to hear the truth of the Gospel. Thank you for praying for this ministry that has touched and is touching the lives of hundreds of Iraqi refugees, all of them without hope. And if they come to your country and your community, I pray you too will reach out and open your hearts and homes to them. You might just be the next step in their coming to faith in Jesus.