Eleven Syrian women stepped into the room. They seemed nervous and unsure of what to expect out of the next two hours.
With young children clinging to their abayas, the women sat down and looked at the flowers, signs, and refreshments around them.
My teammate and I welcomed them with cups of tea and coffee. They sipped their drinks silently as they read the messages we had taped to the walls.
“You were created with a purpose,” one sign read. “You have the power to choose,” read another.
All around the room were messages describing the Syrian women as beautiful, valuable, strong, and full of worth.
This was the first session of a 9-week class we are hosting for refugee women. During these sessions, we share what God says about our identity. We do a craft or activity, then we eat lunch and drink tea together. There’s also childcare for those who need it—a real treat for mothers overburdened with family responsibilities.
Almas is one of the women in the class. When I greeted her with a hug on the first day, I could tell she didn’t want to let go. She was so happy to be there, as was every woman.
The class began discussing our first topic: You have value. We talked about how each of us is created with a purpose and how our value does not diminish according to circumstances or how others treat us.
“A diamond is a diamond,” my teammate encouraged the women. It doesn’t matter if that diamond is in a secured vault or in a plastic bag—it is still priceless.
Almas was mesmerized by our discussion. Later, she pulled me aside and asked, “Will every class be as encouraging as this one?”
Yes, I told her. They would all be very like this one.
“You know,” she responded, “we have never heard things like this before. No one has ever told us that we are valuable.”
In one of our next sessions, we talked about keeping our bodies healthy. Many of the women are unable to go outside for exercise. So we practiced doing a simple fitness routine they can do inside their homes. Everyone joined in, from the youngest to the oldest, jumping around in their head coverings, whooping and hollering and sweating and laughing.
In another session, we planted small seeds in cups of soil and talked about the importance of helping God’s truth take root in our lives.
With every session, the women are blossoming. They’re growing to understand the truths about how wonderfully God has made them. And as they embrace these truths, we pray that they put their hope in Christ who treasures them most.
Muslims are discovering that Jesus can change their hearts and heal their wounds.
**This account comes from a long-term worker. Names have been changed for security.**
Main photo by UN Women
Original article: https://www.frontiersusa.org/blog/refugee-diamonds