Middle East: VBS... at a mosque?

This day we set out to a city in the south. We arrived in the parking lot of a mosque. Thinking it was a mistake, we sat in the car waiting to drive to our VBS location. Then the driver got out and told us to get out. We were to do our program in the parking lot of a mosque! Two bus loads of children arrived and were put into 5 groups and we led them in worship, they sang for us in Arabic, we did crafts, told them a Bible story, played games, had snacks and they heard the good news of Jesus! Halfway through our time, as the call to prayer rang out loudly around us, we all were amazed that the Lord had us right there with all those beautiful, precious children. Oh to know the story behind each little pair of eyes and to help them know our Savior!  We had wonderful interpreters and some of the local ministry team with us. It was an incredible experience.

Afterwards, we were able to go to a home of a Syrian refugee family whose son was getting married today. A tent home with a dirt path in front of it was to be the backdrop for the wedding this evening. No party would occur after the wedding as the family is mourning the groom's 2 brothers being in prison in Syria. All the older woman were in black despairing over the plight of their country. They said when they return to their country they will wear color again. It was surreal sitting there in their home and hearing their story. I told them we pray for peace for them and that very soon they will be colorful again. We drove the streets of that town and I wrestled with my creature comforts at home. I stared out the window at the crowded and dirty streets and the trash all along the road. I thought of my desire for trees and grass and living things. I thought of the order and cleanliness that I so long for. I realized as I wrestled with the Lord that my longings are God given but meant for heaven. The beauty we crave is awaiting us. But the beauty He longs for me to seek after now is the hearts of people. I watched the covered women walking down the street and realized that is the beauty I should run after... drawing others into His kingdom. Oh how I long to offer the Lord a sacrifice of praise. That is what I want to offer Him: all of me for all of Him. To delay my desire for comfort and beauty on this earth only to be able to be surrounded by the radiance of his beauty one day in glory should be my aim. 

Praise be to Him!  He makes all things new!  --Katherine