(Newsletter Update) Love Trumps Fear

Where do I begin?

I am running late. Normally, I have this letter all written and sent at least a few days before the month ends. Yet here I am at 8PM still looking at my keyboard wondering where I begin. I have a lot I want to say, but how to say it? From my perspective I could simply say the three words in my title, “Love Trumps Fear” then drop mic and walk away. For me that is all there is to it.

But I know that most of you don’t know my kids as I do. It is so much harder to love people you do not know. It is also so much easier to fear people you do not know. So I really wish you could just visit with me in my classrooms for a day or two. I wish you could walk down the street and shop with me, or get on a bus and ride with me, go to my church and sit with me while really understanding the messages given in English, then later in Turkish and simultaneously in another room in Arabic.

But that can’t happen. They don’t want people from other parts of the world coming here right now and especially not Americans. As it is, I daily wonder how long I will be able to stay myself. As long as I can I will continue to love. As long as I am able I will continue to risk letting people into my world and sharing in theirs. I will continue to teach English and Jesus with kids who have deep deep scars that cannot be seen. I will continue to have tea with parents and adults who want to practise the ten English words they know. I will continue to let my world know that Jesus loves them even when America (who they associate with Christianity) says by her actions, “but we don’t”.

Between Two Seas no longer exists. Since I am no longer living in Istanbul (between the Marmara and Black seas) I did not renew that domain. Here you will find sometimes personal, sometimes political glimpses into the life of a Christian living in a Muslim world and the life of an American immigrant living among Syrian Refugees.



13 thoughts on “(Newsletter Update) Love Trumps Fear

  1. I am always praying for your safety since here, we do not know or understand (at least I don’t fully understand) what perils you may face. Love your kids and let them know, most Americans know how to love, unconditionally. Stay safe.

    • The thing is, I am not afraid. Even perhaps on those rare occasions when I should be, fear has not been a factor. That makes it hard for me to understand the fears so many have when it comes to letting in refugees. I simply look at the numbers, I look at the vetting process, I look at the risk analysis that has been done and am like, “Why are you scared?” I have been praying for God to give me empathy for those backing Trump on this but I have to be honest and say, at this point it hasn’t happened yet.

  2. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith and testimony! I first thought when reading your heart-felt writing about how much Jesus loves children and how significant that is to also be on our hearts and in our prayers. I’m sure you are an awemazing teacher with an equally awemazing class of children. I will be praying for you all.

  3. BJ, the little that I know of you I am thankful for. You and the work that you do and your safety are in my prayers daily. Your heart leads you well because God’s Holy Spirit guides you. Blessings brother.

  4. I also am not scared. But, I no longer seek from God an empathetic heart for Trump and his cadre of cronies and supporters. What I seek from God is courage to expose the workings of these people and to confront their hatred and bigotry whenever it appears. The Jesus whom I love would have done the same. I love your posts and think of you as someone upon whom God is smiling.

    • He is the president of one of the most powerful countries on the planet. I am not his biggest fan by any stretch but I do pray for him daily.
      The empathy I speak of is more for friends that I know and love who mean well and are serious in what they believe. I know many godly people who love God deeply and love the neighbors they see, but somehow do not realize that the Syrian refugee is just as much a neighbor as the guy across the street.

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