Impacting the world ... one child at a time
Syria is at war. We’ve seen it in the news. It depends on whose version it is, and it’s difficult to decipher who the real villains are in this story; but one thing we know is that millions of people have fled that small nation, seeking refuge in Europe, the Near East and the United States. We’ve seen those photos too. The pictures of boats overfilled with people trying to escape the terrors of war. Men, women and children. Families. Small children not surviving the journey. Parents trying desperately to keep their families together, safe and alive.
One of these families ended up in the small island nation of Grenada.
Just about 100 miles north of Venezuela in the Caribbean, Grenada seems an unlikely place for Syrian refugees to head. In Grenada, there is a vibrant Lutheran church and school called Grace. Kingdom Workers has partnered with Grace to enrich their outreach ministries to include training in sustainable farming open to the public; life skills education such as swimming lessons and one of the best primary education systems on the island. Alice Danell is a retired school teacher from the US and a Kingdom Workers’ volunteer, who has been mentoring one of Grace’s young teachers this year. Ms. Alice has helped Ms. Donna learn to manage the classroom, plan lessons and teach from a Christian perspective. Their bustling 4K classroom has a whimsical mascot. His name is Mr. Stripy.
In the middle of 2015, as war destroyed her home in Syria, little Hanan’s family fled to Grenada, and she entered into Grace. Understandably shy, Hanan had a difficult time engaging with the other students and communicating with her teachers. At the end of everyday, Hanan would sit with her classmates while Mr. Stripy would tell them a story. Grand tales of brave heroes, humble servants and our Savior would fill the air as Mr. Stripy worked his magic on the young audience. Everyday Mr. Stripy’s story would close out their day of learning.
One day, shortly after the New Year, Ms Donna and Ms Alice were about to wrap up their lessons and gather the children around Mr. Stripy when a tiny surprise lit up the room. “Ms. Alice! Ms. Alice! When is Mr. Stripy coming out so I can go home and see my family and tell my parents about today?” Hanan’s little voice asked. Her once timid eyes beamed (as a four year old’s eyes should) with anticipation.
This is a true story of brave heroes, humble servants and the Living God actively working in a broken world. Ms. Alice had no idea that Hanan went home everyday and told her family about Jesus. It’s still difficult to watch the news and see the devastation and horror around us. But know this, God is still in control. He works. He works quietly through puppets, teachers, community and scripture.
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