Field notes, perspectives, stories, news & announcements
September 20, 2023
When Timothy* fled his country because of the government’s persecution against him, he came to Minnesota. A few months after arriving, he found himself in despair because of his circumstances. He was ready to give up on life.
God sees, hears, and cares about refugees. It’s a line oft-repeated in IAFR, rooted in the story of Hagar and Ishmael from Genesis chapters 16 and 21. But God does something else in that story that cannot be overlooked. He speaks.
Hagar, lost in the wilderness, despaired for her son’s life. But God intervened and spoke words of hope.
"Very soon you will see something new..."
In his own time of despair, Timothy attended a conference at a friend’s church. In between sessions, he sought out the preacher and asked for prayer. The preacher said he believed God had a message for him:
“Now you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, but it will not continue. Very soon you will see something new. And from there the situation in which you find yourself will improve.”
Those words came in August. In October, he moved into Jonathan House.
Now two years later, he has moved into his own apartment. He has a work permit, a job, and a better sense of how to function in the culture. While living at Jonathan House, he took major strides on his road of recovery, but the journey isn’t over. A year after his asylum hearing, he still awaits a decision on his case. He longs to be reunited with his family.
For Timothy, the most valuable part of living at Jonathan House was the supportive community. “When I shared my challenges, you listened. You prayed with me.”
The same day he moved out (thereby making space available for one new person), we learned of nine other asylum seekers in Minnesota who desperately needed a stable place to live.
When the need feels overwhelming and our ability to meet it insufficient, we find comfort in knowing God is at work. He sees and hears. He is speaking words of hope to refugees. And in some cases, like with our friend Timothy, he allows us the privilege of playing a part in the redemption story he is writing.
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- Josh LevinBack to the Blog