Working Out Together and Transformation

Amanda* is an All Nations missionary in the Middle East learning language and forming a team with three others in preparation to go to another location in the future.

She heard of a local self defense class for women and decided to take it. While doing so, she realized she could become a coach and decided to pursue that because she saw a huge need for these classes for Middle Eastern refugee women. Shortly after, the refugee center where she was volunteering asked her to be a fitness coach for women. She agreed! The classes also involve nutrition counseling, so she is taking classes online to learn more in that area while she continues her language learning. She now mainly serves Yemeni refugees in these classes and loves doing it. Below, Amanda shares a recent update from her work.

Participation and Transformation

We had over 30 women sign up for classes at registration. I am so encouraged to have a new coach who speaks Arabic so we can more easily offer a new class.

I was also encouraged to have one of the leaders of the refugee center (Harem) back who has been traveling for 6 months. After being gone for so long, he noticed the changes that have happened recently. He told me that he has known one of the women in the workout program for a long time. She struggles with depression and anxiety. She lost all of her family in the war in Yemen and is here alone in need and trauma. But she is one of the regulars at the workouts and LOVES it. She has really come alive in the classes. Harem said it was like seeing a different person when he came back. She is so much healthier emotionally and physically.

Visiting Homes

We plan a schedule of visiting women in their homes to have space for sharing and having deeper conversations. We continue visiting women from previous classes, and have some room to visit new women. Girls who we are not visiting who are begging for us to also visit them. It is beautiful how God opens doors through something as simple as working out together.

The last visit I went on last week was with a lady that didn’t want to be visited anymore. She then became a regular at the workouts, and now wants to see us in her home again. She spent most of the visit re-living and telling the story of war, and fear, and loss from Somalia. When we asked if we could pray for healing and peace for her, she held onto my hand and cried the whole time.

God’s Strategy

If God is not in this, then I don’t want to be either, but it seems he has chosen to work in the Yemeni community through a gym. Someone told me the other day how cool it was to hear about my work and strategy and I say: it’s neither my work nor my strategy. I had no plan to do any of this, but God did and he has been inviting me to join him. I’m super grateful for the way he showed me this week that it IS making a difference, and he IS in it.

*Names changed in blog for security

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