“God has chosen to work with people like us. I see myself in this position – that I can speak – for people who cannot; I can do justice – for people who cannot.” This was the answer of a pastor from South Sudan pointing to Proverbs 31,8.9, who was asked, why he stays in such a dangers place and works for reconciliation between fighting groups. Listening to this man I was challenged and inspired by his words. He repeated several times, how hopeless the situation in his home country is. But he is still not giving up.
How often does it happen to me that as soon as hard times and hardships are coming up, I lose hope and think about quitting. And when I see people like this man, who are ‘running their race’ because they have their hope in Jesus Christ and no matter what happens they trust in Him, it helps me to stay focused on Jesus as well, the foundation of our hope. If it’s not for Him, all our work is in vain (Ps 127,1). And it is such a blessing to meet people, who remind you of that and encourage you.
Such an encouraging time for me was the national conference of StopArmut in Switzerland about the refugee crisis, where I met this pastor from South Sudan in a workshop. I was encouraged to see how many people are carrying for refugees and are showing the love of God through their engagement. Over 800 people attended this conference and wanted to know more about possibilities how to get involved and help in the current situation.
After an event like this conference I often reflect about the things I’m taking with me back home and what I want to put into action. But most of the time it is not a clear plan of actions and thoughts. All this different experiences, thoughts from the speakers, various encounters with people, encouragement and new perspectives – it all fuses into a ‘bigger picture’ like pieces of a puzzle. But it’s not that easy for me to grasp this picture. It feels more fluid and takes shape in backsight. But somehow God is using all this various, big and small things to guide me on my way.
It was great to see the work of StopArmut as a part of Micah Family. Quite some people that I was talking to described these conferences as a place to meet with people who share the same vision and want to change things for the better. Being part of this reminded me again that it is such a blessing to be part of the Micah movement all over the world and that we walk together side by side, even if there are country boarders between us, with the shared vision to walk humbly, love mercy and act justly – by God’s grace.
By Sergej Kiel, Intern Micah Global, sharing his reflections on the StopArmut conference, November 2017