As another volunteer worker and I picked our way past the debris of collapsed mud brick houses, we arrived at the makeshift tent we were trying to reach. Inside, a family of 7 was living while subfreezing winter temperatures mercilessly seeped through the thin canvas. The roof on their previous dwelling had caved in a few weeks before when 2 severe earthquakes rocked the city where they lived.
This family was like many of the other Kurdish families I had met during our earthquake relief trip – poor, anxious about the future, and yet extremely hospitable. The one stark difference, there was a 6-day-old baby in the tent with them!
Our job was to bring good news… this particular family had been selected by our team to receive a shelter that we were building for needy people in the area. They rejoiced at our words! Later that day, we returned and constructed an insulated shelter warm enough to protect them from the elements and big enough for all of them to sleep comfortably.
While our team finished up, the oldest son in the family showed me the remains of their crumbling home. It was so cracked and shattered, it looked like an egg the moment before a baby chick breaks through its shell. The young man was visibly discouraged by the aftermath of the disaster. I prayed for him and wished I could give him more good news, but it was time to move on to others in need.
Although this encounter did not end in explicit gospel witness, many followers of Jesus have been involved in meeting practical needs. As a result, many have heard the good news, not just of physical shelter, but of the gospel of Jesus. Pray that many would seek spiritual refuge under the shelter of Christ.
“Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take shelter under the shadow of your wings!” Psalm 61:4.