Making Room for the Unexpected

Caring for unaccompanied teenagers who are refugees means making room for the unexpected to care for needs and offer refuge.

Can you see into the future? If you could, would the ability to do so change how you use your time today? How would you plan your day, and prepare for the unplanned events?

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15)

Time is the currency of our lives and it only gets to be spent once. Zijah and Lorena know and understand this, and that’s why they work hard each day seizing every opportunity to love their neighbors and share the Good News in a spiritually dark place. They make plans while trying to balance the daily needs of ministry and make room for the unexpected.

Recently for Zijah and Lorena, ‘what your life will be like tomorrow’ brought them face-to-face with young victims who suffered violent torture and abuse at the hands of human smugglers. Zijah shared this story—

“At the beginning of last week, the local police asked us to take care of a group of teenage refugees. These young people had endured a terrible thing. While they were passing close to our town, human smugglers caught them and video-recorded the violent attack. One of the teens managed to escape and went to the police. The smugglers were captured, but the victims were left with deep scars.”

Healing room for the unexpected

For now, the young people will live in Zijah and Lorena’s refugee housing where they will be well-loved and cared for. When unaccompanied teenagers forcibly leave their homelands as refugees, they may find themselves alone in a foreign land with an unfamiliar culture and language. Along with other factors, this makes them vulnerable to exploitation and violence. Zijah and Lorena often provide a place of safety for these young refugees.

Light emerges in this dark story, though. Zijah shared,

“There is good news! The teens came to church yesterday! Please pray that they will be healed. We especially pray that they would open their hearts to Jesus and receive new life and renewed strength.”

Zijah and Lorena cannot see into the future, and they do not know any more than you or I what their “…life will be like tomorrow.” They trust God for their lives and for guidance as they faithfully share the Gospel, and hospitality, to those in their community. 

Would you please pray for Zijah and Lorena and their ministry team as they make room for the unexpected?

  • Wisdom and safety as they serve and lead.
  • Physical, emotional, and spiritual healing of the wounded teens. 
  • Safety of the refugees