“I thought we were all going to die!”

This week’s Muslim Connect comes from Catania, Sicily where I’m spending the week learning more about the refugee crisis, meeting fascinating people from all over the world and dreaming with some church friends from America about working here.

I want to share the super-abbreviated, but still gut-wrenching story one of our new Muslim friends told about his journey to Catania:

“I left Libya in a very small boat. The traffickers had packed 150 people onto it. After two days at sea, we were getting weak from our time in the boat when a nasty storm came up. During the long, stormy night, we lost more than half of our fellow passengers. We all thought we were going to die and everyone called out to God, asking him to save us.”

“When the storm finally calmed, we were shaken, pretty badly broken. We rationed our food and water, but they ran out. We remained at sea for two more days with nothing to eat or drink. We were adrift and people were dying all around me. When the Italian coast guard finally rescued us, only fifteen people remained alive in my boat.”

Can you even begin to comprehend what it must be like to witness 90% of the people who start a journey with you die before your eyes? I can’t, but I want to look Ibrahim and Sai-eed, Konay and Lamin in the eye and say, “You matter. You are not forgotten. You are a delight. God saved you. He loves you. He has great dreams for your life.”

 

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