Over the last month, we have seen decreasing participation as Ramadan has pulled our new Afghan friends away from the PLACE. The fasts and feasts of Ramadan have made it a struggle for them to have the time and energy to attend classes and potluck dinners. Ramadan ends on May 2, so we anticipate many of these friends to return in the coming weeks.
However, the April silence has brought to light the reality that we have not yet successfully learned to draw in many other ethnic communities. As we think critically about the last year, we are realizing that we are still facing the consequences of the separation that COVID-19 brought into our lives. We have lost touch with so many of our friends! Many have fallen out of the habit of attending English classes, or they’ve lost the motivation to pursue education or group programs. We are thankful for the quiet of the last few weeks, because it reminds us that we have a lot to do! While we have responded effectively to the Afghan crisis, this busyness has covered up the fact that we haven’t recovered our relationships from the pandemic.
Please join us this month in praying for imagination and creativity as we seek to draw our friends from Myanmar, Congo, Sudan, and Somalia back into relationships and into the PLACE. Perhaps many of them aren’t interested in English classes, mentorships, or Table Talk. But what can we do that will spark their interest so that we can cultivate a multicultural community in this space? We’ve discussed holding a women’s exercise class, or a Karen language music concert, or a regular storytelling night. What has God uniquely gifted us to do in order to grow this community, out of which lives can be transformed?
Additionally, how do even advertise new programs and events? It’s not exactly easy to get the word out to dispersed immigrant communities! Pray for wisdom as we build!
Thank you for your prayers! The picture is from this week’s Table Talk program, where we held an arm wrestling tournament among several of the Afghan boys who come every week. It was a blast!