Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
Julia ministers among women and girls at an unnamed refugee camp in the Middle East
Rawan, a girl at the camp, came to me looking very upset. I pushed her to open up to me and tell me what was wrong. Very hesitatingly she told me that she had seen a French girl she knew from afar wearing a cross pendant. She then told me that she knew the cross was a sign that “those who wear it hate and want to kill Muslims.” She asked me (because she knew I was a Christian) if this was really true, because she didn’t think that this girl seemed like she would hate people like that.
It turned into a very wonderful conversation about what the cross symbolized and what it means and what Christians believe. It corrected a lot of wrong beliefs and stereotypes she had held and been taught. It was a conversation that encouraged me and reminded me why I am where I am.
The camp culture is one of the most culturally and religiously conservative in this region, with most women completely covered except for a slit for their eyes. Up until now, their exposure to Christians has been almost nonexistent. As I gain trust in the eyes of those in the camp, I gain opportunities to be an ambassador for the true message of our faith, a privilege I can’t be more grateful for and humbled by.