By CBF field personnel Lita Sample
When I think about each year, my resolution is about trying to improve myself; in my health, my family and the things I want to accomplish. This year, my resolution is inspired by a year of hearing Afghan refugees’ stories and my hope that what God is doing through us in the lives of Afghans will make this year better than the last.
Last year was traumatizing for thousands of Afghans who felt like the U.S. had abandoned them. Their lives were thrown into disarray not because of their choice, but because of choices others made. When they arrived, it was to a country that they did not trust and a place they didn’t want to be. They wanted to be home… their home.
We have engaged with many refugees from Afghanistan for over 20 years. We’ve heard the stories and grieved over losses, and many are now our friends. This time when refugees arrived in the Bay Area, we knew that their burden was heavy, and they needed friendship and support. But because of their mistrust, Afghans would struggle with any American, especially Christians – people not of their own faith. Because of our long-term presence, it was easier to build that trust and reach out to families. When we’ve had events, many who are new come to talk and share. We’ve been invited to new homes and are building new friendships. But this year is still a struggle. The wounds are still fresh from their experience.
As I ponder their stories and envision their faces, I believe this New Year’s resolution is important that I seek fervently after God’s heart and for what He has for these people. As we see our small Afghan church growing, I have a hope and vision that it will grow to be hundreds of people who will come to know Him. I know that God is able, and I am resolute to do what I am called to do so that my presence counts.
Perhaps another year will pass, and next year I will look back and be happy that I was able to serve, be part of God’s plan and see the great work He is doing among Afghans in the Bay Area. I ask that you resolve to pray for them this year so they can come to know the Jesus that we know and find ultimate peace.
Lita and her husband Rick Sample serve as CBF field personnel in the San Francisco Bay, Ca. To learn more about their work, click here.