Ian wrote our first blog entry (read it here) about our move to Atlanta on April 11th 2009. We will use this date, April 11th 2014 to mark our 5th Anniversary in this work. We have a goal and maybe you would like to help us meet it! You can set-up monthly support or make a one time gift of $60 ($5x12) to help us get there!
I will keep you updated on our numbers here: Refugee Beads currently has 11 out of the 500.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
― Mother Teresa
― Mother Teresa
We hear questions about "sacrifice" on a regular basis. People want to know how painful it is to do what we do. They want to know about the dramatic "calling" that drove us from our comfortable lives into the turmoil of ministry.
As our neighbors join us in the work of nurturing community, welcome us into their homes, and weave their own lives, we're finding it more difficult to follow that narrative.
The artisans of Refugee Beads offer us their stories, share recipes, and open their homes to us. La La, a player who has been with our soccer team for two years, has now taken responsibility for leading his fellow players. Miguel, who attended the afterschool program as a student, is now leading the afterschool program together with us.
We spend one evening a week visiting with Nico in jail. Wearing his orange jumpsuit and sitting across the thick glass with a black handset, he does his best to orient us with his world. At the end of each visit, he asks us how he can pray for us. There are no prayers I value more than those Nico offers on our behalf from his jail cell.
We moved into this neighborhood and began this work in hope of giving and receiving with neighbors from around the world, and the realization of that dream means a deep kind of joy to us.
We prefer the term "escape" to "sacrifice." We slipped the hold of a life ill-fitted to our hearts and entered a richer landscape of love for our neighbor.
We were certainly called by Christ to live as good neighbors, feeding, helping with homework, and visiting in jail, but that calling continues throughout the work, as we are drawn deeper into the work of living God's love for this neighborhood.
You can escape too, and pursue the Kingdom's constant call with us. How would you begin loving your neighbors? Would you take our neighborhood into your heart as well, and join us in praying and giving so that our work here could deepen?
We are currently looking to pay stipends to our post-high-school student leaders to acknowledge the value of the work they're doing here. This takes consistent support. We also need a vehicle, as the Refugee Beads-mobile died on us recently, and fixing it seems to outweigh the value of the car by a wide margin.
Please keep Nico in your prayers, as he's been sitting in jail for over seven months, with no sign of progress toward a hearing. His heart, however, is showing signs of God’s transforming love. He has been reading the New Testament and drawing pictures of God rescuing him from the clutches of evil.
Thanks for reading. Please let us know if we can offer any more information about what we're doing here and how you can get involved.
Grace and peace,
Ruthie and Ian