Copy
An update on the ministry of Jason and Kristine Stryd 
View this email in your browser

Into the Living Room

 

With the help of the GPS I found the apartment, parked on the street, and made my way towards the door.  A ring of the doorbell and Fadil greeted me. Drawing me by the hand he ushered me out of the hall and across the threshold into their apartment.  

 

And just like that I entered into the sacred place of the Albanian culture - the living room. 

 

Fadil, a nearly 80 year old Albanian, was in my English class last year in Roslindale. Every week for probably 8 months we talked and interacted.  But the moment I walked through that door something new happened.

As I sat with them in their living room I was able to talk with his wife, Hazbie, whom I had met once before.  His daughter in law was also there and heartily took part in the conversation. Later his son arrived home with their 20 something year old daughter.  

But beyond meeting his family - in a deeper way I met Fadil.  I felt the reality of his life. Saw where all six adults live day in and day out in their 2 bedroom apartment.  I listened to their stories of life and heard the reality of the challenges that have faced them as they have begun life in America the last year.  In many ways the gray day outside and dim lighting inside created a darkness that resembled how they were feeling. Beaten up by immigrant life, tired, frustrated, lonely.  It was not a complaining about America or the opportunities here, but real admittance that it is really hard to start over in a new place..  

 

Now don’t get me wrong, when I visit a family like Fadil there are plenty of awkward moments. I am almost always the first non-Albanian entering their home and they are simultaneously nervous and honored, intrigued by me and wondering what I am thinking about them.  At Fadil’s there were moments of pause and silence, moments where I wondered what to ask next. But those moments certainly didn’t stop the connection taking place.  

 

A theme from the family was how they felt on their own.  How they have not found people, Albanians or others, who have really gone out of their way to help them get the information they need for jobs or to further their careers.  Fadil’s two granddaughters are in their 20’s and both are well educated in the fields of IT and Administration. But they are working at Dunkin Donuts, without the connections they have needed to find work related to what they do.  

 

In the intimacy of the home as I face their real challenges and needs, I am reminded of the words in 1 John 3:16–18  [16] By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. [17] But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? [18] Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (ESV)

 

Fadil in his family are not yet believers in Christ and in a technical sense not my “brothers”.  Yet how can I avoid the clear principle of the love of God abiding in my heart in such a way that moves me to feel for them, moves me not just to word and talk, but also to deed and love?  How can I not be interested in their needs and hardship?  

 

As I get ready to leave, I pulled out a NT that I had brought for the family.  Their eyes open in surprise to find that it is in Albanian. As I often do I opened to Matthew 6:25-34 and read the passage about not worrying and God’s care for the sparrows and flowers and how much more for us.  

 

After a little discussion, some more conversation, I stood up, thanked them for their hospitality, shook everyone’s hands, and was led by Fadil back across the threshold, out the door and outside. He warmly thanked me and returned inside as I left.  

 

Such a visit carries with it mourning and hope.  Mourning because it reminds me of our broken world - experienced most keenly in the living room. And hope because I know the God and the Gospel that transforms what happens in living rooms.  

 

My hope is to connect Fadil’s granddaughters to someone in the local congregation which I partner with who knows the HR field and could help them navigate the steps they need to take and maybe even connect them to the church.  

 

My hope is also that the Bible that I left becomes living and active.  At some point sooner or later, when one of this family picks it up and begins to read, I pray that it will begin to break into their world setting off a chain reaction of faith that will transform that most sacred of rooms into a place where on a regular basis God meets them.  

 

Would you pray with us for a movement of God in the living rooms and families of Albanian immigrants in Boston!? 

 

Technology, Kids and Parenting

 

Saturday the 22nd we had our regular gathering in Quincy for the Albanian community.   As usual it was a potluck of good Albanian food, lots of conversation, many kids and a presentation.  We had a good crowd and great discussion around the theme of how to parent our children in this digital age where there are surely many dangers in internet and technology.   

We are most encouraged by how God continues to bring families who though they are not yet believers, are certainly “belonging” - building strong relationships and feeling comfortable as they hear and see the gospel.  Our next gatherings will be for Easter and then later in May.  Here are some pictures!

Weekly Prayer Updates!

I continue to send out weekly prayer requests to those who want to pray and hear more about the ministry on a weekly basis.  If you are not yet receiving those but would like to just let me know! We covet your prayers as we know and believe that God works powerfully as we cry out to him.

 
Thank you for your prayers, financial support and encouragement!  We are thankful for you and for all that God is doing in our lives and family and for what he is doing among the Albanian Diaspora in Boston! 

In Christ,
Jason, Kristine, Caleb and Evette
God provides for our ministry through the generosity of churches and individuals like you.  If you are interested in financially supporting our ministry you can mail your donation to:

Mission to North America - PO Box 890233
Charlotte, NC 28289-0233

▪ Please make your checks payable to Mission to North America with a note accompanying the check or money order indicating Christ the King and Jason Stryd

 

You can also make  donations online by credit card and/or set up a recurring donation

 ​https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift2?giftid=7156A875FA4C44A

 


 
Copyright © 2020 Jason Stryd, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp