I just finished my bible study with my partner Emile, a S.Pioneer here, and am following him to his call next. One on the way to our meeting place. As we walk down the tight alleyway through the apartments around us, we go way way in the back of the front of the building. There's a a small hallway leading to 2 doors - and he knocks on 2 of them.
The first door, no one comes out. So he then walks down the steps leading to a second door, and knocks on it. A man comes out, a refugee from Sudan. He gives us a look that many give us when they first see us, the suspicious look that maybe we're immigration police. It seems like this is the first time he's met Emile. As soon as we start talking English , and tell him were friends, just here to talk about the bible though-a BIG smile comes over him. A very welcoming smile, and even though he's a Muslim, he's happy to hear, and right away opens his door wide for us and invites us to come in.
It's a studio, pretty much one room with a bathroom....and 5 beds, with very simple living. We walk in to find all his other room mates there. They all gather around us as we sit on one of their beds , and bring their chairs closely to hear what we have to say. Being that their first language is Arabic, I had one 'Bibles Message' brochure, and busted it out. The main guy who invited us in had it in his hand, as the others gathered closely to peer into it and look at it themselves. Then the questions started flowing.
Being that they are refugees, they do not have much. But, what is so really touching is how generous they are. They would bring out plates from their refrigerator with different mixes of candys on it for us. They would take out their cold bottled water and cups and generously serve it to us. Back home , its very rare for people to do this for us in Svc., and here, people do it more than I've seen in my whole life. Even those with so little. All because they appreciate what the bible teaches. As we talk to them they are eagerly in our face smiling, nodding, waiting for the answers, knowing the answers to their questions are coming.
About 20 mins goes by, and we've just had a study with all 5 or 6 of the men in there! We got to hurry and go to get to the mtg. for Svc in time! As we say goodbye, they continually thanks us for coming. Even taking out a huge watermelon to be cut for us, insisting that we take before we go! Wow.
On the way to the mtg for Svc , I ask Emile , "Did you know ANY of the men living in that house?" "Nope", he answers. "So.... you were just knocking on random doors before the meeting for service"? "Well, just so happens I had the territory for this street, and decided to try a door or two". Wow. Talk about angel directed. If we just went straight to the mtg place thinking there was not much time, we would've totally missed out on this experience!
There's more to this experience, and those men we talked to. In fact its what happened RIGHT AFTER that meeting for service was over that really got interesting..... Be sure to check for Part 2 of this post! Also more of an explanation to see really what service here is like! More soon to come!