Schaller Family News
"And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:19
How many refugees do you know? Until July, we had never met one. Our girls didn’t know what a refugee was. Now we know some personally and can pray for kids like Zaza, Samantha, Yoan, Medina, Kato, Sabur, and Rabya.
Agapé en Action, our humanitarian branch, has a partnership with the refugee center in Rennes. Our family took a break from our normal ministries to work with the children at the center. At first our girls though it was cool that these kids live together and their parents are almost never around. Now they see the sadness, grief, and deep anger many of these children deal with. The center was very grateful to have us there knowing that we are a Christian organization. We were asked to serve and love the kids without initiating spiritual conversations. We were glad to do that, and we prayed God would use our family as a blessing. We also prayed that one of the refugees might open spiritual conversation with us.
Our team of volunteers played board games as the kids ages 4-12 came in. We had been briefed on how to handle the notoriously difficult children. Our lead volunteer did a wonderful job diffusing those situations. One of the older and calmer kids once had an outburst during a game of Uno. We caught glimpses of what these kids have gone through and not yet recovered from. After games, we always made a craft. This was Lydia’s favorite part. Then we played outdoor games and ate snacks.
On our second, third, and fourth days at the center, the kids greeted us with hugs, said goodbye with hugs, and soaked up all the attention we could give them. The big girls loved to hold Tessa. Overall it was wonderful and exhausting.
We witnessed many cultural differences. The kids were from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. One day, a girl was not allowed to come see us because she was being punished. She did pop her head in, and her twin brother took her in the hall to speak. He removed the punishment as she promised to be good. Several times we noticed that she needed to ask his permission for things.
On the last day, Yoan asked Lydia if we are Christian or Muslim. Turns out, he and his family go a Christian church nearby, too. You can pray for Yoan, his sister Samantha, and their mother. Yoan kept mentioning how cool it is that we are a father, mother, and three kids all together. Tara gently asked him what his family looks like. He said he has a father in Africa who is Muslim, and he’s got dozens of half-siblings, many of whom he’s just finding out about. He kept his head stooped as he spoke. Then suddenly he joked that maybe we’ve got a bunch of family secrets, too, but they haven’t been discovered yet! Tara encouraged him, as we left, to be a team with his sister. God can use them in mighty ways within their community.
God provided a house for us! We’ll post photos next time. Lastly, please pray for Milo as he’s now on hospice care.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Love, Trent, Tara, Lydia, Rachel and Tessa