A local friend and I went to visit her sister to talk about the possibility of her teaching one of our teammates. On the way to her sister’s house, NR told me that her sister was not interested in church or hearing about Jesus. She had asked her sister several times to go to a meeting with her, so that she could hear the stories from the Bible, but her sister would always respond with, “God willing,” which really meant, “No thanks. I’m good.”
When we arrived at the house, we introduced ourselves to each other and talked a little bit about our background, and then the conversation quickly moved to why I left America and was living in this horrible country where foreigners like them (Syrians) are treated like trash and have no rights and no future.
This wasn’t the first time I had been asked this question, but for some reason my answer was different this time from times before. Maybe it was because I could sense their bitterness and anger toward the people in our country. I began by telling them of my experience with prejudice and racism when I first arrived in country.
In the country my family and I live in, there is an intense racism and prejudice against Africans, Sri Lankans, and Filipinos because they have the jobs of maids, trash pick up, gas station workers, and even prostitution. If hired by locals, they are often treated like slaves, and if they are walking down the street, they are called animals, mocked for speaking their language, or refused service at times. Though I may have an American passport, I am 100% Asian looking, which usually means they think I am Filipino.
So as I continued telling them of my experiences, I explained how men would ask me how much I was, how random women would ask me to carry their groceries home for them, how random people would call me names, or how people would ignore me at restaurants when I would try to order. But through all the injustice I felt, I wasn’t angry or bitter toward these people.
I shared my testimony with the ladies of how I came to know the Lord. Then, I tied in how because Jesus is the Savior and that His love for me extends even to those that may call me names or wish me harm. I told them that I don’t have any anger toward people here because I know they haven’t found the True Way in life.
A few minutes after sharing, NR told her sister that this is why she should come to one of the meetings and listen to the stories from the Bible. Surprisingly her sister responded with, “I would like to hear more. Maybe next week I will go.” WHOO HOO!!! Praise God!