Have you ever been in a country where you couldn’t speak the language?
Many of us have experienced being in a place where we didn’t speak the language or know the customs of the country where we were visiting. Even if the language is the same as your native language, the words often have different meanings in different countries.
Now, imagine if you were a child in that situation. And what if you and your family had to leave your home country and move to another for protection or to survive?
That is exactly what millions of people around the world experience every day. Over the last year, WMU has focused on the needs of refugees both around the world and here in the United States.
The WMU Foundation has a specific endowment that helps train Christian children’s leaders in an international setting. It’s the Barbara Massey Endowment named for a long-time children’s worker at national WMU. For several years, we made grants to Christian children’s leaders in foreign countries. This year, we found another creative way to use this grant for God’s glory right here in the US.
Just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, there is a large concentration of refugees who live near a small Baptist church, Tusculum Hills Baptist. The church members decided to reach out to their new neighbors and found a unique way to meet their needs.
They offered after school assistance with homework and then they started an international children’s choir. Through Music City Soundtracks, they launched the Children's Freedom Choir made up of refugees and immigrants in the Nashville area.
The Massey Endowment typically supports Christian leaders working with children overseas. In this case, we are able to support Christian leaders working with international children who have come to the United States. Earlier this year, the WMU Foundation made a grant from the Massey Endowment to Music City Soundtracks to support their work with the Children’s Freedom Choir.
You can find a video of the Children’s Freedom Choir singing with the Nashville Children's Choir here. The choir sang "You Are Welcome Here," a song written by Mark Burrows, a children's minister in Ft. Worth, Texas.
This is a beautiful example of Christians reaching “the world” with the love of God by accepting and welcoming those the Lord sends to us.
Looking back on those times when you were pushed out of your comfort zone, how did that make you feel? It probably wasn’t easy. You hopefully learned and grew from those situations, but they can be difficult and even scary. You can feel out of place and left out or even forgotten. In those kinds of situations, the best encouragement is finding a friend who lets you know you are welcome.
This is just one story of how your gifts are at work changing lives. Discover your missions passion as you give through the WMU Foundation.
Written by David George, president of the WMU Foundation.