At Kids’ Camp, each child has a unique story. Some have seen their parents beaten and throw in jail, others have spent months in jail themselves (the government calls them refugee “detention centers”). For most of these children, this is their first look into what a “Christian country” is like (because Islam dictates government, most Muslims assume that the same is true of Christianity – thus, whatever the Greek government does is a reflection of Christianity). Many of the children have very unstable home lives. Many only have one parent – whether because one is dead, or is in jail (for being a refugee), or is working in another country. Two of the children at camp are from Chechnya. Their father was killed several years ago simply for being Chechen.
One young girl – “J” – is of Iraqi descent, although she only lived there as an infant. Her family has been on the move for her entire life (about 8 years). She lived in Turkey for several years before moving to Greece. At times, you get the sense that she is lost – she has no home culture, no mother tongue, no identity. She is lost in a state of endless transition. Although her parents speak Arabic, she knows Turkish best (since she spent her formative years there). Yet, these difficulties melted away for her at Kids’ Camp. You could begin to see the child within surface through her tough facade. “J” particularly loved song-time. She would sing at the top of her lungs –
“Jesus, You are here with me.
Jesus, You are all I need.
I will follow where You lead me.
I will worship You!
So, I clap my hands and wave them in the air.
Shout your name so everyone can hear (JESUS!)
Jump as high as I can reach.
And dance around to show that I am glad that You love me!”
Her face would light up as she sang of God’s love! Her past did not matter, because she was beginning to understand that God loved HER (a concept foreign to Muslim theology). Thank you so much for your prayers last week! We saw God work in amazing ways. We will continue to share some stories with you this week (and next). Please continue to pray for the seeds that were planted at Kids’ Camp – that they would bear fruit in the lives of these children and their families.