Our travel last month placed us in a unique place in the world and was a crucial experience for Cathy and me. We met so many people who have been running from the ravages of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and Al shabaab. Their individual stories of survival broke our hearts and made us more aware of the turmoil going on in our world. Pictured above are some destroyed boat shells and thousands of life preservers used by those escaping the chaos in the Middle East.
You would recognize that each boat shell has all the interior supports and items removed that help make a boat safe and stable in the water. Smugglers put their lives at risk with a simple frame that caused the death of many. Many would toss their luggage when they recognized the flimsy boat skin was unstable against the waves and tide. You could feel and see the terror in their eyes as they recounted their stories.
There was one refugee we met that caused us to pause and consider what it takes to run from evil. Achmed (not his real name) is an unsung hero in our minds and hearts. This large man was a member of the Iraqi Special Forces. You could tell that he can handle himself and was very skilled in warfare. But he also ran once the truth of ISIS became clear.
He could fight personally but knew the odds were staked in the favor of the evil leaders. What he sought was peace from the chaos. He didn’t see it there and wondered where he would find it. It came from an unlikely place. That peace came from Jesus Christ! His smile and attitude speaks volumes about the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a new believer.
Christmas is this weekend and when you look at the story of Jesus in the book of Luke we discover Joseph, Mary and Jesus had to run from the evil ruler Herod. They also were refugees racing to Egypt.
Give the gift of a prayer for the hundreds of thousands who are displaced on this Christmas weekend. Resisting the enemy is no easy task. It can cost you plenty! Link your heart with those needing peace.
May your Christmas be blessed!
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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