Ghazals, Church Birthday Celebrations & the Harbor Bridge

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During the month of June, I spent time with my Dad when he came to visit, prepared for the RIDE event and attended events for the Sydney Refugee Team.

One SRT event was a prayer night during refugee week. Another was hosting some of our refugee friends for a dinner to celebrate the shortest day of the year. In Iran, they do a big celebration for the day so Julie, Matt (the lovely people I am staying with) and I tried to recreate that for our refugee friends.

This included pomegranates (there’s an easy way to get those seeds out that one of my refugee friends taught me), watermelon, candles and heaps of food. We also read some ghazals, which is a form of poetry. It was a lovely evening of fellowship.

 

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Below is one of the ghazals I wrote:

I thank Jesus for His Sacrifice
The way He died for human vice

I no longer need to rely on fate or the universe
My life is much more than a roll of the dice

I am wholly dependent on God
And His son who died to pay the price

I now have brothers and sisters
With whom I share life and advice

My heart no longer beats for this world
The ultimate lure is not merchandise

I cannot wait for heaven
Where believers live with God in paradise

Additionally, I attended a Persian church for its fifth birthday celebration with a few of my co-workers. The church service was all in Persian and one of the church members kindly translated for us during the sermon. There was a power point of pictures from prior years and we even sang happy birthday to the church! The evening ended with big meal and this massive cake that our refugee friend made. My friend Julie was also along for the celebration and reminded me that it was beautiful that God is worshiped in all languages, which was helpful to hear.

The service got me to process language barriers in a way I hadn’t before. Many refugees I know are in English classes and learning as they go. But my heart really went out to people who come in not knowing any English, and especially their first few days in a foreign country. It was a very frustrating experience not knowing what was being said at the service and trying to pray or concentrate during worship.

My Dad and I had a great time when he came to visit. Here is a photo of us on top of the harbor bridge:

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Praises

  • Praise God that my Dad got to visit and that all of our travels were safe
  • Praise God for all those who have supported me through prayer and giving during my time in Australia with International Teams

Prayer Requests

  • Pray I keep my mind on Jesus and work as if for Him
  • Pray that God will comfort refugees as they get used to new languages and customs
  • Pray that the RIDE event will glorify God

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Blessings,
Oksana