Today was the first time that our group got a chance to go into the K-community. We gathered at the prayer chapel at 3:30 and began to pray over our time with the K-people. We prayed that God would speak through us and move and prepare the K’s to understand His love. We left soon after with the cookies that one of the girls in our group had prepared.
The trip was long and tiresome, but eventually, close to an hour later, we made it. We met this lady at her work who had been working with the K-people for a while. Usually around Christmas time she would take candy to the kids in the K-community and to their families. So, we got back in our cars and followed her down the road to this community. Soon we turned left down a street.
Driving through we saw trailer parks on either side of the road. As we approached the houses, in the yard scattered everywhere, were toys and other play things. We came up to the door of the house and knocked. I didn’t know what to expect or who would open the door. Soon the door opened. A lady greeted us with a smile, and welcomed us inside her home. We stayed for awhile, gave her the cookies and left. We went to a few more houses and we were welcomed in with the same kindness and hospitality. The final place we would stop at for the night would be a guy that we had already met earlier in this semester. This guy had come and talked with us about the K-people earlier this semester and it was super encouraging.
As we opened the door we were welcomed in again. This guy’s wife and his family welcomed us in. With our group, we had brought a missionary family that had known this guy back when they lived outside the country. A great reunion ensued between the two families. They began to share stories of what had happened in each other’s lives since they had last seen each other. These two families were supposed to eat together and me and the other two students from school were supposed to leave. But then this guy invited us to eat as well. So we did.
We headed into the living room, (I guess that’s what you call it), and sat down on mats on the floor. The food was placed in front of us. Chicken, rice, beans, bread. We were given the whole K-experience. The food was really amazing. They encouraged us to eat as much as we liked. They were so hospitable and kind.
As dinner finished up, and as my legs were cramping from sitting indian style, I began to look for a place to sit so I could stretch my legs. I got up off the mat and came and sat by some guys who were my age. They were watching soccer highlight videos. I came over and began to watch it with them, connecting with them through sports. As the guys finished up watching their videos, I turned my attention to the guy sitting closest to me.
We began to talk about sports and life, what college he went to and what he was studying. As the conversation got deeper and deeper, we began to talk about beliefs and morals and such. He began to share with me how he sees how we live in a society that doesn’t forget mistakes, that even years down the road, you can get labeled something, just because of something you did once. I could see he didn’t really believe in grace, which is something that is not taught in their religion. I wanted so badly to share with him that Jesus brings grace to our lives and showed grace to us on the cross, but it was a first meeting, and I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries so soon. He referred to himself as a “believer” and said that after his bad wreck a few years ago, that “he knew that there was a god.” I knew though, that the god this guy was talking about was not Jesus.
My mind was really blown tonight about how similar we were to the Kurds. We had been praying for these people and talking about these people so much, that it almost became like to me, that these people are different, in so many ways. When in reality they were not much different than us. They just wanted people to get to know them and like this guy was saying, “not judge before you know someone.”
My mom called me earlier today and told me to “be careful.” I know I was thinking the same thing she was. I was labeling them in my mind, before I even met one of them. And they turned out to be a lot different than what I had pictured. They liked sports like I did, they talked about family, they wanted to live a good life. Things that every person wants. They just need Jesus, like all of us do.
I think all of our group learned a lot from this meeting, even from the interaction between the K-family and the missionary family. We learned that this is going to be a long term thing. It takes truly caring for people, to reach them with the love of Christ. It truly takes investing in their lives. It takes time, energy, patience, endurance, love, lots of love. They are people. They are not a group. They are not a conversion ratio. They are a people, who have feelings, plans, desires, purposes. They are people who need to be shown grace, truth, freedom, through the love of Christ. They need to be shown what Jesus has done for them.
It was a mind opening night. Tonight we learned that the K-people are just like us. Just like us in a lot more ways than we knew.
I thank you all for the prayers of the people of God for this ministry. I pray that you will continue to pray for us as we continue to build relationships with these people.