I don’t speak Arabic, and I even stumble through English. But after working in Antakya, Turkey, this summer distributing aid to the victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake, I realized I could speak the language of love.
One day as we drove around looking for those who were least likely to get aid, we came upon ten families in desperate need of everything. Food. Water. Soap. We gave them what we had on hand. We returned soon after with more. They were so grateful. We decided to go back a third time and take shoes and clothes for the children.
Then, under what I feel was the Holy Spirit’s leading, we went back the fourth time to play games with the children and spend time with their families. I know they desperately needed the food boxes and hygiene kits we brought them, but what they needed every bit as much was respect and hope.
So on our fourth visit we sat together and sipped tea from the small ration they’d received in their food boxes. We listened to their sad stories, they shared their dreams. Their children taught us games, and we played and laughed together. It was like we’d known each other for years.
Some of us couldn’t speak their mother tongue, but all of us could understand the language of love. For them, I’m sure we brought courage for a few days, maybe weeks. For me, I will never be the same. I realized the power of the language of love. God has created us to understand it, to need it. But He longs for many, many more of us to speak it.
–Antioch Project Volunteer