Robert Davis visited our Moroccan partners in October as a representative of Highland’s Global Missions Ministry Group. Robert and Cheryl Davis have been involved with this ministry partnership since its beginning. Read below Robert’s reflection on this fifth visit to Morocco.
After 18 hours of travel, I landed in Rabat, Morocco and began an exhausting, significant 5 days with our partners of the C.E.I. (International Aid Committee) of the EEAM (Evangelical Church of Morocco).
The purpose of the trip was twofold: to listen and to learn. The first task was listening: listening with an open heart to the voices of those who work with migrants and refugees daily to understand how our partnership works and listening to the voices of the migrants and refugees themselves – to better understand how we can walk alongside them. Secondly, I was present to learn how Highland Baptist Church can continue to partner with C.E.I. in a manner which is most beneficial to them and to the church as a whole.
The following is a high level overview of the activities of my 5 days in Morocco:
- Participation in Permanance – the weekly opportunity for migrants and refugees to come to the church for assistance
- Meeting with the pastors of 7 migrant house churches
- All day meeting of the national Board of the C.E.I.
- General Assembly of the C.E.I. which dealt with budget, strategy and development of 5 areas of work to concentrate on during 2016
- Sunday morning worship with the Rabat church – 2 hours long
- Sunday afternoon worship with a migrant House Church – again 2 hours
This was my fifth trip to Morocco as part of our partnership and it was the most demanding both physically and emotionally. From a physical standpoint, it is a long trip with lots of worked packed into a few days. From an emotional perspective the trip was bookended by 2 significant events.
On the first day, I went straight from the airport to the church and jumped right into helping with Permanance. I had the opportunity to meet a young couple from the Ivory Coast who had fled their country due to violence. This couple was no different from many of the individuals that I had met on previous trips with one exception. The couple was holding their 4 month old twins – precious and beautiful children. The couple was seeking assistance for everything – food, clothing, medical help and shelter. As I sat and listened to this couple, I must admit that I became angry with God. Why were these innocent 4 month old children facing a life filled with difficulty and almost certain suffering? Why did these parents have to make decisions to flee their homes? Where was our loving God in all of this? My heart was open and raw as I saw their desperation. But then I was reminded that in this predominately Islamic country here were Christians, working through their church, being the hands and feet of Christ for this young family. Through the gifts of many people, including those from HBC, this couple was able to receive assistance that would help them along in their journey.
The final day of my trip ended with attendance at one of the many migrant house churches. I accompanied Jumel (HBC pays for ½ his salary) who is responsible for connecting these house churches with the work of the C.E.I. The church met in a small house with 55 people packed into the 3 rooms, with stifling heat and a leaky roof. Though I had no translator for this 2 hour service and I understood nothing of what was said, one thing was apparent – these people were filled with joy as they gathered to worship. Their joy was overflowing and infectious. As I took it all in, I thought – as a Christian from America do I have that unadulterated joy in my daily walk with God? Again, a tough question – one that invited me look at my own journey and to find ways to reconnect again to that joy which is overflowing and free.
Thank you for making this trip possible and for your support of our partnership with the church in Morocco. The partnership we have with the C.E.I. is making a difference. It enables those on the ground in Morocco to meet individuals where they are and to then walk alongside them. Lives are being changed and thanks to your generous support the arms of love stretch from the corner of Cherokee and Grindstead around the globe to the streets of Morocco.