Afghans: Relationships and a community center
This month we want you to focus your prayers on Afghans. Specifically, pray for the 200+ who make their way into Amarillo by January. Some of these people previously worked with the U.S. military. Others were in danger and ended up on one of those planes (we’ve all seen the pictures). As these people come into town, we are connecting these families into relationships who can help them practice English and learn their way around town.
For example, last week we sat down with David (pseudonym). He doesn’t have TV or Internet, and doesn’t have access to transportation. When I asked him, “How do you feel?” He responded, “I feel alone.” We connected David with a young man named Jay from our church. Jay has now spent hours with him, driving around town, practicing English, and even buying stuff he needs (such as long-sleeved shirts and kitchen supplies). When David mentioned that he loves soccer, our staff pooled money together to buy him some soccer cleats. And God takes the little we offer, and He does so much more with it. As we sat there and got to know David, he explained that he was a first year computer science major in Kabul when the Taliban took over. I looked over at Jay and saw the big smile on his face. That was HIS degree, and it’s now his career! What a connection point! Praise God that he is putting us in these rooms with the right people. Pray for David, that he would see Christ in us as we serve him and welcome him. We are hosting an informational meeting at Redeemer on November 21 as we catalyze more Christians to be salt and light in our city for the glory of God.
But that’s not all! These incoming Afghans don’t have much to do as they wait on work authorization. So in the meantime, we are addressing this urgent need by renting a space within walking distance for many of these families. This is finally our opportunity to trial out the PLACE community center (Place for Language, Arts, Culture & Economic Growth). We’ll pull together volunteers & churches to offer English & cultural orientation classes, a computer lab, and a lounge area with a TV. What a great place for our community to surround these Afghans and welcome them well as we build deeper relationships with them.
Will you pray about this? We are preparing to sign this lease, but this was not in our budget! We expect it to cost around $50,000 to set it up & lease the space for the next year. This means we have a huge need to raise money during the Panhandle Gives fundraiser later this month. Would you pray for provision? More than that, pray that we honor God as we take a bold risk to open a community center and build long-term relationships with Afghan Muslims coming into Amarillo. This is a big vision, but we have a big God who is able!