Her Life Intersects with Syrian Refugees
Around 200 000 refugees (mostly from Syria) have passed through Macedonia going to the developed countries in the European Union. Dragana is a friend who has been helping to care for many refugees coming into Macedonia. Her involvement intersected with her personal story. She shares some reflections from her time helping the refugees with food, clothes, and with distribution of evangelistic brochures in Arabic, at the border with Serbia. This is her letter.
If I have to use one word to describe my time with them, I will use the word “redeemed.” Let me explain why.
I was born in Macedonia as an only child to my mother. I grew up without a father. I knew him. He was in Skopje (but not living with us), until I was 10. Than, one day, he left without even saying goodbye. Six months later, he called and said that he went back to be with his people. He is Arab, from Syria. Back in his country he married a Syrian woman and had kids.
I can say that I carry deep wounds from growing up without a father. The name ‘fatherless’ became common name for me as I was growing up. That was the name that defined me. I often dreamed of how my life would be different if he didn't abandoned me. I've missed him, and I still do. The last time he called was 18 years ago, promising that we will see each other very soon. But he never showed up again.
Yes, I was fatherless girl until one day my Father in Heaven came to me and gently said: “I died for you, I love you beyond measure, you are worth staying on the cross for, I care for you, I love you, I am your Father, you are my girl, my daughter. You are not fatherless anymore.”
He changed my life. I belong to Him. Because I didn't have closure with understanding of why my earthly father left and where he is now, I still carry some wounds in me. And probably I will carry them until I sit at that Heavenly banquet, at that big table where all of us will be as one big happy family, celebrating the Lamb who was slain.
When those hard times hit, my Heavenly Father is here next to me reminding me who He is, and who I am in Him. When I went to help the Syrian refugees and saw all these people, my heart was broken for them. I said to myself: "Oh, these are my people." They are struggling, lost, in need, and they need to know the love of God.
I never expected that this will be the way that God will connect me with my past, and that He will use something that sin stole from me, for His Glory. Probably most of these people lost somebody too. Probably some of them in this raging war became motherless, fatherless--they are lost and asking themselves where they belong…God has a way to redeem each one's story. He start redeeming this part of my story, by sending me as His daughter to be His vessel in His hands each time when I look in those people's eyes, smile to them, give them my hands and my heart, so through me they will know that there is Someone who loves them, sees them even in their worst, cares for them, and gives them His heart and ultimately His hope and grace.It is like I hear Him say: ‘These are my people. You can be My eyes, my legs, my mouth, my ears, my arms wide open, so they will hear, see and even feel my Gospel through you.”
I always wanted to go to Syria, to connect with part of myself that was long lost. But instead, Syria came to me, so God will use me to connect them with the One who found me. That's how His Sovereignty and Grace work.
Jeremiah 1:5 is very true for me: “Before I formed you in the womb of your mother, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet of the nations.”
I could have easily been raised as a Muslim. But God knew me, he knew that one day the Light of Jesus will shine on me, and that from that moment on I will be preaching His Gospel to the dying world, through my words and my deeds.”
Dragana and her family continue to minister to refugees and others in Macedonia. They will be grateful for your prayers.