Extraordinary Commitment, Extreme Need
by Robert and Cheryl Davis, Highland Baptist, Louisville
This was our prayer before embarking on a five-day, 10,000 mile trek to and from Morocco in November. We arrived to the welcome sight of Diachari (the new coordinator of the migrant/refugee ministry) and Sevy, our friend and remarkable singer/dancer with the Voices United Choir.
We spent Thursday and most of Friday meeting with the refugee/migrant teams from the churches in Casablanca and Rabat. It was great to see familiar faces, like Helge and Christiano, and to meet new friends such as Anne Marie, Angel, Apollinaire and Renata. These exceptional people have been involved in this difficult work for many years. Seeing their level of commitment and coming to understand the challenges they face was both inspiring and heartbreaking.
To reach out and touch him, and say that we love him . . .
Friday morning, our hosts took us to meet with some of the refugees. We had heard stories of their living conditions, but nothing could prepare us for seeing this ourselves. We met a group of 15 young men from Guinea who were sharing two incredibly small, cramped rooms. One of them pleaded, “If you can’t help us today, can you give us hope?” After discussions with our team, we took a few of the men to a local market to buy some basic staples such as rice and oil. Even those familiar with the situation were moved by the desperate need we saw and heard.
Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen . . .
Friday evening and Saturday we were honored to participate in the EEAM synode meeting, with about 40 pastors and leaders from across Morocco, including our friend Karen Thomas Smith. They represented churches in Tangier, Fes, Marrakesh, Kinitra, Mohammedia, Casablanca, Rabat, Oujda, Agadir and Meknes. Though they are small in number, their passion for Christ’s message of love is evident. We came to a deeper appreciation of the work they accomplish with relatively few resources. And we loved the beautiful way this diverse group of people, Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans, older and younger, dark- and light- skinned, found common ground in their faith.
Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.
The “icing on the cake” was the poignant Sunday worship service in which Samuel Amedro was installed as the new pastor at Casablanca and as president of the EEAM. That afternoon we met with representatives of the German church that is helping fund the new position for Diachari (along with CBF) and he officially accepted this demanding responsibility – a humbling, tender moment for all of us.
We thank the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and Highland Baptist Church for the amazing opportunity to represent you in Morocco!