“We underestimated how lonely so many Muslim women are in New York,” said two current Equip participants. They recently moved to the Bronx to learn how to share the love of Jesus with Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Within the first month, they developed a relationship with Khadija* by visiting a local beauty salon in their new neighborhood. “The women on our team were hesitant at first to invite her over to our house for a meal. We assumed she had many friends and would be too busy to share a meal with us.” The Equip participants quickly learned that Khadija felt very lonely in her neighborhood and did not have many friends. This is the case for many Muslim women who immigrated to New York City and the United States.
Soon after their relationship with Khadija began, the Equip participants asked if they could host Khadija for a meal in their home. She was elated, and she happily agreed because she had never experienced being invited into an American home before. The meal was filled with much joy, not only for Khadija, but for the EQUIP participants as well. As a result of this simple act of hospitality, the women learned more about Khadija’s religion and culture, met her family, and shared the love of Jesus with Khadija and her daughter.
Not just Muslim women
Have you ever considered how lonely your international neighbor(s) may be in the United States? Have you been hesitant to reach out due to fear or a lack of knowledge? It doesn’t have to be difficult! Seek to show that you care about your new neighbor. It may only take a simple act of kindness and hospitality for a beautiful relationship to come about. Hebrews 13:1-2 says, “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” God may use a simple act of hospitality to begin drawing your international neighbor to Jesus.