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Drinking Tea with Refugees Opens Hearts

Drinking tea with refugees

Salina understands women from Muslim families. She grew up with them as the Majority in her community. She knows the love of Jesus is the love women long for behind their veils. As she and Robin create relationships within Syrian communities, they ask God to help them develop relationships of trust with people far from home and far from God. Often, the connection begins simply by drinking tea with refugees. Because Robin and Salina speak the heart language of the people, the people open their homes and hearts to them.

An Invitation to Drinking Tea With Refugees

When Salina first met the Syrian women of the community, they were covered in full black burqas. The veils between them fell away as Salina chatted with them about her daughter and their children, opening their arms to embrace the treasure of the other. The language of mothers, spoken in Arabic, creates a bridge from one heart to another. Before long, the women invite Salina and her friend Ruth to come for tea.

With her little one bundled up against the brisk Asian sea air, Salina traveled across town to the refugee community. On the way, she and Ruth saw men pulling heavy carts filled with recyclables. The refugee men band together to gather and sell valuable pieces of refuse to supply for their families. It's not enough for all the families need.

Unveiled Mothers Pour Tea

Inside the apartment, Salina and Ruth see a table spread with plates of honey cakes, bowls of sunflower seeds, and biscuits. As the door closes securely, veils come down and women sit cross-legged on the floor, up close to the round table. They're careful with intimacy. After all, Salina says, "Most of them came by crossing the borders, sneaking into the country."

Children scoot up close to the table, and mothers pour steaming brown tea into glass cups. Laughter flows freely across the table. Sipping tea together, the mothers pass around their babes and share their lives in their heart languages. Drinking tea with refugees opens hearts.

As the women open their hearts, Salina and Ruth tuck the shared needs of the families into their hearts and minds. The nine women have twenty-five children, ranging in age from an infant to pre-teen. Globally, moms share the same concerns for their children, and the Syrian mamas worry about the need for shoes and coats for the cold winter. The leader of the women is Hannah, a common name in this region for centuries. She explains that some of the mothers have been in their "pass-through" country for five years or seven years. It's long enough for them to know colder days and nights are coming.

Open Hearts to the Heart Language

When mothers pull back their veils to share needs and embrace one another's children, trust is born. There will be many cup of tea in building these relationships. "They have a lot of needs," Salina reflects. Hearts open to Good News shared in the heart language.

Learn more about Robin and Salina here. Would you pray for Salina and Robin as they minister to refuge families in their Arabic heart language? You can also give a gift to help Robin and Salina here.

*To protect the security and identity of the individuals serving in this context, we have changed their names online and in some cases use photos that are representative.


This couple uses compassionate, influential leadership to mobilize Egyptian believers for outreach in communities of Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

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  • Pray for discernment as Robin and Salina work with communities of people with great needs.
  • Pray for open hearts in relationships with Syrian refugee.
  • Ask God to create trusting relationships that turn to spiritual conversations.
  • Pray that God would guide Robin and Salina to be godly parents for their daughter.
  • Ask God to open eyes and hearts of Majority people seeking meaning after war, conflict, and the earthquake.
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