Lebanon (MNN) – The circumstances surrounding refugee camps don’t often breed hope. Yet, hope is exactly what Jo, an English teacher with Triumphant Mercy, brings to her students.
A Place of Waiting
Two years ago, Jo was in a season of waiting. She had come to a place in her life where she didn’t know what to do. She was ready for a big change, to do something for God, but didn’t know what.
She says, “And so I was just laying it all on the table and saying, okay if you want me to go somewhere and if you really lead this way, if you really can, then show me. And I heard Him say, ‘Wait.’”
Jo explains that during that time God taught her about His love and what it looks like to trust Him. To teach her this lesson, she needed a season where only God knew her next steps.
A Time to Go
She became content in her waiting, then without warning, God began to show her what her future held. Jo says, “Suddenly on a random Sunday morning, I walked into Church and Nuna was there. The church there had been praying with her for some of the situations here, in the refugee camp, and she wanted to come and update them about what had been happening. And so, I just happened to hear her update and thought, ‘This has nothing to do with me. This is for sure not where I’m called.’”
But it was. After praying, talking with people at Triumphant Mercy and visiting the Beqaa Valley, she knew where God was leading her.
“It was very much just a go. Okay then, well then I’ll obey and I’ll go and see where it takes me when I’m there. And now I’ve been here two years and I really feel the Lord’s leading to put things into place to stay for a longer time than I have. So, I’m here for the time being, but I have no idea what that will look like in the long-term.”
Bright Hope for a Dark Place.
The call is clear to stay for now, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Triumphant Mercy is running informal schools for Syrian refugees in the Beqaa Valley. Many have seen very difficult things as they escaped with their families into Lebanon.
Yet, Jo senses God’s presence overcoming the dark situations.
“At one point, I felt like I had a picture when I was praying on some time out from being here, of this huge wall of darkness. And I felt like God asked me to come to this place that feels so close to this wall of darkness. But in recognition of who He is, I wouldn’t respond the way you would respond to the darkness. But I would respond the way I would respond to my dad who is God, and who is able, and who gives me joy and freedom and life.
“And so it was this picture of me dancing. And just the blindness when we look into His face to that wall of darkness and it’s not the same as denial, but it’s letting who He is conquer that sense of impossibility. And recognizing that the work is just 100% His.”
Help Bring Hope to the Beqaa
The battle to see God’s hope in dark places is real. Please pray for the teachers in the Beqaa as they seek to shine light into tough situations. Pray that the students learning in Jo’s classroom would see the source of her hope. Jo also asked that while praying for the conflict to end is good, people should pray for the students as individuals who have hopes, dreams and need the love of Christ.
If you want to learn more about Triumphant Mercy’s ministries or help support their continued work in refugee camps in the Beqaa, click here.
Photo courtesy Triumphant Mercy.