Morgan Horn - MSU
I have arrived in Las Vegas to serve with the Safely Home Refugee Ministry. My official title for the summer is Assistant Director of Summer Activities for K-12, but so far, I’ve done a little bit of everything. I’ve taught crafts to preschoolers, created worksheets for the ESL class, assisted the citizenship class, and run various errands around the ministry. I have taught the colors of the rainbow, ESL lessons, and started painting Plaster of Paris models we will be using this summer.
Our mornings start with a prayer meeting and it has been such a beautiful time every day for me. I’ve wept every morning as we prayed over the refugees, Las Vegas, our own needs, and the needs of people we know and come in contact with. It’s so nice to start each day expectant for what the Lord will do and shifting our agendas and hopes from ourselves to Him. I don’t know what he is doing to my heart during these mornings, but I know that He is changing me from the inside out. I’m confident that those prayer times will shape the entirety of my service here.
“It’s been very hard.” These were some of the first words I heard after stepping foot in SH. It was an Afghan family, worn from traveling and overwhelmed by heartbreaking loss and devastation. They were seeking help applying for green cards, but as they told their story, it became evident that a green card wasn’t all they needed. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to refugees both here in LV and across the country.
Many people view refugees as a nuisance or a problem to get rid of, not a group of people to love. They’re often overlooked and discarded. I think it’s important to remember that refugees did not choose to come to our country. In fact, many of the people I’ve met thus far refuse to have their pictures taken and their last names recorded for fear that they will be found and killed. Refugees are not immigrants. Their home country is either no longer safe or their lives in their country were at risk of persecution. It’s appalling to me that we claim America to be a country of freedom, yet we deny that very same right to refugees because “they’re not our problem.” But as Christ followers, they are, in fact, entrusted to our care. The Bible clearly states that we are to care for the marginalized, the orphaned, the needy, and the oppressed. Deut. 10:18-19 says, “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” Jesus tells us in Matt. 25:40 that whatever we do for the least of these, we are doing for Him. It is our duty to love them as Christ loves them. To feed, to educate, to help assimilate into our culture. They are not burdens. They are precious souls in need of assistance.
There is an Afghan woman here who lost her son within a week of coming to America. She was searching for freedom but found only more death. There are Congolese who are slow at making the transition from Swahili to English, who are treated like garbage for being both black and unable to speak like us. There’s a man who served our Army in Afghanistan as a translator that can never return because the Afghan government would immediately kill his entire family for treason, yet our government brought him here and dropped him with no help whatsoever. I have many more stories to tell and all have the same heartbreak coursing through them. However, I believe there is hope to come. It says in Hebrews 11 that “Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” I have hope that these stories can be penetrated by the bright light of the Gospel. I have hope in new beginnings. I have hope in a better tomorrow. I have hope in Jesus and He has never failed me yet.
Today, as I was working on painting the Plaster of Paris models, I had my Spotify playing my worship playlist. The song “Won’t Stop Now” by Elevation Worship came on right as I happened to look down at my wrist. My mom gave me a bracelet before I left as a gift for graduation. It says, “The Best Is Yet To Come,” – a fitting phrase for both the stage of life I’m in and for this summer. This song has the lyrics:
In every season Your grace has been enough
And I’m believing the best is yet to come.
The cross before me, my hope on things above,
And in You, Jesus, the best is yet to come.
I almost cried as I sang along. The best is yet to come for this ministry and for you. If you don’t know this about me, I am a planner. I like things to go exactly the way I have prayed for them to go. But following Jesus is full of twists and turns, so rarely do my plans end up looking like His. He is teaching me to trust not only in what has passed, but to have faith in what will come to be. If it doesn’t come on my timeline, it’s not the end of the world. My prayer this summer is that I would take a step back from my plans and intentions and instead place my faith in the God Who could never let me know. The best truly is yet to come.