After 31 years building a career and a community in her home country, Esther answered God’s call to move to the Middle East.

When Esther arrived in Syria, nervous about moving in with locals, daunted at the task of learning the language, she saw God faithfully organise each detail as she obeyed His leading.

Two years into Esther’s ministry, the political situation changed in Syria, the country she’d claimed as her new home and she ended up leaving. Moving to a neighbouring country and uncertain about the decision, Esther struggled with the transition.

“You just feel like you’re abandoning people. You’re starting again with everything: a new country, a new dialect. It’s really difficult,” she said.

But again, God was faithful.

“He uses every single bit [of your life] to weave it into this rich story. Nothing goes wasted, good or bad. Whether you’ve obeyed Him or not obeyed Him, He still redeems it and brings it back into this picture, even if it’s not according to how you want it to go,” she said.

As the political situation escalated in Syria, streams of people began pouring over the borders into nearby countries. Soon, she was surrounded by the very people group she had left. Her initial grief during these transitions had prepared her to effectively minister to Syrian refugees facing the loss of friends, family and careers due to the war in their home country.

Spiritually, God has opened doors in Esther’s new community that were never available inside Syria when she lived there. Now, Syrians are asking her to read the Bible with them. “It’s a completely different atmosphere,” she said. “I’m able to be very open. People know that’s what I do—read the Bible with people. I don’t even need to go looking very far for the opportunities.”

“Step into what God’s given you to do on a daily basis, and He’ll bless you. Being obedient in small decisions—it’s still a journey I’m on,”

“I am the most reluctant church planter in the world. I like hanging out with people. I like loving people. I don’t have amazing Arabic. I’m not a brilliant Bible teacher. But somehow or other, God puts me in people’s paths. It’s His grace.”

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