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Walking with a Struggling Stranger

Our newest Hope Team recently moved to Western Asia. This encouraging story comes from the team’s latest experience learning the culture and the language.


Hope Team member Amber has been looking for ladies with whom she can practice the local language. Becoming fluent has been the focus of much prayer and continues to be one of the team’s greatest needs.

Recently, Amber saw a woman struggling up a steep sidewalk with two little kids in a stroller and another walking at her side. Seeing this, Amber decided to help the woman over the next couple of steps and asked if she could walk with her the rest of the way.

With a nod of approval from the woman, Amber took hold of the stroller and helped the family as they ventured up the street.

They walked to the school where the older child attended. There, Amber and the mother sat to have a quick chat. Eventually, Amber explained her desire to practice the language with others.

The woman was happy to offer her time to help her practice. She said, “Meet me by the stairs at 3pm.” And with that, Amber thanked her and parted ways. When that time had arrived, Amber waited patiently by the stairs. Fifteen minutes later, she wondered if the mother couldn’t leave the house with her three kids or if she had just politely agreed to the meeting (not really wanting to).

Seeing few homes at the bottom of the stairs, Amber began boldly asking neighbors if they knew the mother with the three kids.

Thankfully, one woman Amber asked turned out to be the mother’s cousin.

The cousin seemed to really enjoy the painfully broken conversation with Amber (her smiles and giggles surfacing often). Having mercy, she enlisted her five-year-old to show the way.

The boy brought Amber to the right house, which was not too far away. She walked up and knocked on the door. And, as soon as it opened, Amber was happily ushered in by the mother she so boldly looked for. She quickly invited Amber to sit on the floor cushions and to drink some tea.

After the drink, Amber gave the woman some vegetables from her garden. With that, the mother disappeared into another room and returned with a blouse to return the favor. She then motioned for Amber to put it on right then and there saying it was her size. It was clear the mother wanted Amber to keep it.

The blouse was a bold floral pattern in the sharpest of pinks. It wasn’t exactly Amber’s style.

Choices…life is full of them.

Did she put this loud flowery Pepto-Bismol blouse on? Absolutely!

For the next hour and a half, Amber’s mid-section was hugged tightly by this new pink floral shirt. While the TV blared and the mother’s toddler played cars on the floor, Amber practiced fruit and vegetable flash cards with the woman. While the mother nursed her baby, they took on the roles of buyer and seller in the marketplace. And while she rocked him to sleep, Amber learned the days of the week.

It was amazing!

So, on her way back home, Amber proudly sported her new blouse smiling the whole way back at all that had just happened. Although slightly chaotic, she completed her first language helper session, met some neighbors, and added to her wardrobe. And all of this occurred simply because God prompted her to walk with a struggling stranger.

Walk with me. It continues to be God’s theme for his relationship with Amber. She’s learning more and more to trust his leading, asking him to do what she can’t, and expecting him to do his mighty work. It’s not easy, but it’s awesome!

Please pray for the Hope Team as they continue to learn the language.

Pray that God provides more focused and consistent language helpers in the coming days for the team and that he’ll allow them to be lights in the lives of this family and many others to come.