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God will make a way

By Amy Durrant
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    An Interserve Partner based in Europe shares how God is at work in local migrant communities even behind the closed doors of a local detention centre:

    “God will make a way where there seems to be no way” – these are the lyrics of a popular worship song. Recently, this became real when I was awoken in the middle of the night by a clear instruction from God: “Go to the detention centre and visit your friend, Sumaya.”

    How could I visit Sumaya?

    Sumaya and her family live in a detention centre near the community centre where I volunteer. Her husband had brought her and their daughter there several times. However Sumaya has a serious health condition that made it difficult for her to leave the detention centre. Too many trips outside had taken a toll on her health, so Sumaya was unable to visit us any more.

    At the detention centre security is tight. It is well known that no-one gets inside unless they are a resident or an employee. Residents are permitted to come and go, but no visitors are allowed inside. How could I obey God’s instruction? How could I visit Sumaya?

    On top of the security issues, there was another problem. Nobody at the detention centre speaks my language, so communication would be a huge challenge. But when I reminded God about these problems, He prompted me to take my Chaplaincy ID card with me to the detention centre the next day, and to trust him to make a way.

    God opened the gates

    The following morning, as I approached the entry gate, another resident whom I knew well was on his way out. I explained to him that I wanted to visit Sumaya, so he took me to see one of the security guards at the gate. I thought I heard the guard say that Sumaya was in the hospital ward, so I quickly pulled out my chaplaincy ID card and confidently said, “Hospital Chaplain!” The guard considered the ID for a while, looked me up and down, and then made a phone call. I couldn’t understand what he said, but I certainly understood when he mentioned my country, which is written on the ID.

    The next thing I knew, the guard was handing me an entry permit and gesticulating that he would keep my ID card until I returned. I thanked him and followed my friend into the detention centre courtyard as quickly as I could, before the guard could change his mind.

    Photo by kilarov zaneit on Unsplash

    It was a little bewildering to suddenly find myself inside the detention centre, and I then realised that I had no idea how to find Sumaya! Thankfully, my friend stayed with me and directed me through the grounds to the building where Sumaya lived. There was very tight security. Guards patrolling the grounds outside, at every doorway and in every corridor. I was confused. Why was my friend bringing me to the room where Sumaya lived and not to the hospital ward? I had misunderstood the guard. It was, in fact, Sumaya’s husband who was at the hospital. Sumaya was still in her room.

    Dreams of hope and healing

    We knocked on the door and there was great excitement when Sumaya and her daughter saw me standing there. Once inside, the women began dancing around the room, overjoyed to see me again. They were amazed and delighted that God had made a way for me to visit. I explained that God had spoken to me in the night to come and pray for Sumaya. Then Sumaya became even more ecstatic. She explained about a dream she had the previous night where she saw herself well again.

    We prayed together then. Sumaya didn’t experience a healing miracle that day. But even so, she could not stop speaking the name of Isa al Masih (Jesus Christ). She had undeniably encountered God and this filled her with peace, joy and hope. Sumaya assuredly knows that God sees her, and I continue to pray that the miracle foreseen in her dream will come true soon in Jesus’ name.

    She had undeniably encountered God and this filled her with peace, joy and hope.

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