In the immigration world, nothing moves quickly. Add social distancing and a government shutdown, and that slow crawl could grind to a halt. Thanks to technology and the willingness of those we serve, we at Arrive Ministries are still connecting with our clients. Although nothing beats meeting face to face, the wonder of Zoom allows us to not only continue meeting people, but also making deep bonds of friendship, in spite of the screen.
I had the privilege of conducting a Zoom appointment with Zamira. She is a busy wife, mother, and nurse, who is also a U.S. citizen, originally from Uzbekistan. Our internet connection wasn’t great and she was running on three hours of sleep after a long shift at work, but we connected nonetheless. In fact, I was thankful that she didn’t have to drive in after such a sleepless night.
“The wonder of Zoom allows us to not only continue meeting people, but also making deep bonds of friendship, in spite of the screen.”
Zamira was well prepared with documents and the meeting ran smoothly. Yes, there were occasional “face freezes” on the screen and the audio loop cut out, but after a while, it didn’t matter. I learned that Zamira grew up in a close-knit Muslim family. She heard the good news of the gospel and began to follow Jesus, immediately sharing that good news with her brother.
“Her face lit up and she said that ”of course, you share it!'”
Her face lit up and she said that “of course, you share it!” Her eyes teared up recalling the gossip and persecution of friends, who called her a betrayer. And she described, with no trace of pity, the sacrifices she and her husband made to shield her brother from that same persecution, even sending him to college in a distant country. Zamira is hopeful that her brother, also a believer, can join her here in the U.S. to pursue his new found faith. What pierced me the most is when she wondered aloud why she hadn’t heard the good news of the gospel sooner – and why more people in Uzbekistan hadn’t heard it either. Her deep appreciation of the gospel convicted me. We ended in prayer and I said goodbye to my client and sister in Christ.
Zoom connected me to Zamira, who strengthened my connection with Jesus and the beauty of the gospel. I want to be like her with the good news – “of course, you share it!”
written by Traci Nelson, Immigration Assistant
Shared with permission