This is it. The final week. I gave my last talk in church, did my last weekly planning, and oooooooooh……….I’m certainly going to love life after the mission but I must say, I’m going to miss the mission a great deal. The luxury of an hour every morning just for personal study of the gospel, the joy of seeing the gospel change others’ lives, and the happiness that burns within you when you share the message of the restored gospel is incredible. This isn’t my final farewell letter, for I still have one week left, but I’d just want to quickly reflect on one aspect of my work I’m going to miss like mad….
The Refugee Camps:
I’m going to miss them terribly. I’m going to miss the wonderful people who have filled them, and in turn, filled my heart. They have shaped me and changed who I am and what I want to become. I cannot simply return home and say the work is finished. My heart will be yearning to be among Syrians, Afghans, Iranians, and every other refugee until I return to them once again. Though I’ll be returning to my physical home soon, I’ll be leaving this home. I love these beautiful souls in it. Whatever I do in life, it needs to be, in some way, for them. To do contrary would be tearing my heart in two.
This week I want to share a typical experience that happens often on the mission. We contacted a Syrian man on street and immediately he wanted us to come to his house, even though we weren’t near his home. We entered his humble Ottoman carpet lined apartment to be greeted with Syrian pistachio rice pudding from his lovely wife. He had two young paralysed sons playing on the floor and a three month old baby boy who couldn’t stop laughing and cooing at us. We shared the message of the gospel and he shared his story. After the treacherous voyage in a rubber raft across the sea, he walked by foot, from Greece to to Malmö (the southern tip of sweden.) which is roughly 2,500 km. (about 1,600miles) ..a 20 plus day trip, carry his paralysed son on his shoulder the entire way. They were not just runnning from the fear of danger. They came from the midst of it. He and one of his sons were face to face, at gun point, with ISIS. His house literally was destroyed… and now, more than a year later, he has not much to offer, but what he has he will freely give everyone. That is just one of 1,000s I’ve met just like him
Before the mission I thought being an actor would be the greatest career, but I need to do more than present a story, I need to create stories…. more particularly, I need to re-create theirs. One soul at a time….banishing fear with the light of truth.
I highly encourage you to do what you can to help wherever you are. Maybe there are not the endless possibilities to serve war-torn asylum seekers where you live as there are in Sweden, but there is always something to be done, anywhere.
For ideas take a look at my Church’s suggestions: