Lena and Mustafa* were delighted that Lena’s pregnancy was progressing well, and that they and their 3-yr-old child were happy and healthy. However, they were struggling with an agonizing situation in their apartment complex: a neighbor was harassing them, for no apparent reason, other than that they were Arab and Muslim. Things were escalating and they were concerned, but hopeful things would calm down.
Mary and Doug had recently enjoyed housing an African refugee family in their finished basement. They shared with Anna, a KIN volunteer, that they would love to be able to help another family in the same way, and to let them know if she knew of anyone needing housing.
So when Anna received a call from Lena and Mustafa that their neighbor's behavior had escalated to the point where the police had to be called, she immediately knew how she could help. Eager to make the connection that seemed such an obvious provision from God, Anna called Mary. And within the week, Mary and Doug had opened their home and welcomed new friends to stay with them for as long as needed.
There were a couple of cultural "hurdles'', such as the fact that dogs lived in the home, which isn’t allowed in the Islamic faith. The families also had to share a kitchen, a potential challenge in meeting halal+ requirements, but it instead turned into a great opportunity to grow close. And when Mary needed help due to a medical issue, Lena was more than happy to help take care of her and provide upkeep of the home.
As they saw God at work, both families were joyful and thankful. For Mary and Doug, they got to share their gift of hospitality with strangers, and for Mustafa and his family, they felt tangibly loved and accepted. Mary's grandson became an instant friend for their little boy, and the tension of the previous weeks melted away as new friends found refuge, love and acceptance in the home of Christ's ambassadors! "I was a stranger and you invited Me into your home." (Jesus--Matthew 25:35)
+denoting or relating to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.