Faith in Action: Bible Study Friends Serve Refugees
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you,
giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves
were foreigners in Egypt. - Deuteronomy 10:18-19
What could be better than a group of friends learning about God together in a Bible Study? Only a group of friends experiencing Christ’s love by serving His people together! When Amy Murphy, Becca Kelly and a few other members of their women’s group decided to adopt a single mother and her 5 children, who just moved here as refugees from the Congo, they wound up receiving as many blessings as they gave.
They were connected with Louise Binwa and her children through the World Relief Good Neighbors Program and were given an opportunity to help them to learn to navigate their new lives in America. They took turns helping with simple things that those of us, who were born here and speak English, take for granted. For example, they took the Binwa family shopping, showed them how them to use American appliances to cook, taught them how to use public transportation and took them to doctor’s appointments. They also spent quality time as welcoming friends, playing games and taking the Binwa family on special outings.
Though it’s been challenging to get past the language barrier and make time in their busy mom lives to help the Binwas, it has been a positive experience for every member of the group. Amy shares, “I truly feel Christ’s love each time I am with this family. When they first arrived, they were very nervous and overwhelmed. Each time, we show them Christ’s unconditional love through simple actions and assistance, they show their love, joy and appreciation in return. The hugs when we walk in and smiles on their faces radiate Jesus’ love back to my family.” She adds “About 3 months into working with the Binwas, I walked in their front door and the mom jumped up to greet me with a big hug. At that point, I knew she truly understood we were there to treat them as Jesus would in this very difficult transition.”
Becca reflects, “I think the most significant thing I've taken from my time with the Binwas is just admiration for how brave Louise is and how resilient the children are.” She adds, “I'll never forget my first outing with Louise. I had to show her how to use the bus to get to her English class. I ended up making her a sign to show the bus driver that explained she didn't speak English and listed the address of where she needed to go. That experience will always stick with me. There's no hopping in a car to grab something from the grocery store for Louise. Right now, all the tasks we tick off our lists so automatically take a great deal of help and patience for Louise. Witnessing that helps me keep things in perspective, when I start to feel frustrated in my own life. Louise’s courage reminds me to be thankful that I CAN so simply get things done. It's been eye opening for me, like a mini-mission trip right in my own town.” Becca was also inspired by the Binwa family’s joy during this difficult time of their lives. She explains, “When you visit the Binwas, they are all smiles and laughter, always. And the children. Oh my gosh! I just adore the way they are so happy to connect and play with my children, even though they can't communicate much.”
Are you called to serve Christ by helping refugees as well? There are always new families coming into the Quad Cities, who need help. Check out www.worldreliefmoline.org/volunteer or Contact Beth at World Relief in Moline at 309-764-2279 or [email protected]. Also feel free to ask Amy and Becca for more information when you see them around church.