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New Lens, New Adventure

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    In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit globally and my employment contract ended as colleges began online classes and reduced staffing. God always knew my deepest desire to teach underprivilege children, though I always wondered how and when. Miraculously, He opened a door for me to join a Refugees Learning Centre in January 2021.

    Working in Accelerating Learning Programs (ALPS) has opened my eyes to see things through a different lens. I have become more grateful and thankful to God for blessings which I have taken for granted, such as citizenship and its privileges. The centre has given hope and future to refugee students and teachers.

    Recently, I spoke to my teacher, who is a refugee. She excelled in her Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and is pursuing a part-time Certificate in Accountancy. She shared that her parents are cooks in a nearby restaurant. They work 364 days a year and only take 1 day off every year to renew their United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card. Even that one day off is considered as unpaid leave. I was shocked.

    If it was me, I would think that was unfair: where are my rights and entitlement? Yet, she said that the boss is a kind man. Her parents worked from 7am-10 pm every day before the Movement Control Order was imposed due to the pandemic. Now, they come home a bit earlier. No matter how late, they will always wait for their parents to have dinner together. That is beautiful!  She and her siblings take turns to cook breakfast and dinner. Usually, their dinner is chapati and one dish. She is very grateful that the centre has given her and her siblings opportunities to study, giving them hope for the future. Her story truly blessed my heart.

    When the pandemic worsened and only essential industries were allowed to operate, it severely impacted the livelihood of many, especially refugees who are daily waged workers. One of the teachers gave some food donations from the centre and her own money to help a mother who has just given birth and did not have enough money to buy milk for her baby. Another teacher (a refugee himself) purchased pre-paid phone credit for his students so that they could participate in the online classes through their handphones.

    These incidents made me reflect, how am I helping the refugees? The Lord reminded me of a scripture, Genesis 1:26Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness….’”. The Lord asked me, “Ajunta, how is My character displayed in your life?” prompting me to take stock of my life.

    In 1Thessalonians 2:8 “So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” The Lord asked me which part of my life (talent, experience, finances, etc.) am I sharing with the students and teachers so that they will experience and see the love of Jesus shown in real life.

    Working in the centre along with the refugees continues to enrich my life. Their generosity, kindness, determination to raise beyond their restricted livelihood have inspired me to do the same.

    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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