Some of the most meaningful connection happens at the table. It’s a place to enjoy, to listen, to exchange, to open oneself to true relationship. A place where barriers fall and hearts hear.
“Looking through photos from last year, I realized how many were taken at a table, or next to a table, at the end of a long conversation,” Navigator Jill* says. “Tables are places for sharing meals, stories, and our journeys with God.”
On a ministry trip to Eurasia in summer 2018, Jill, who serves with Navigators International Student Ministries and previously served eight years in Eurasia with The Navigators, found herself at tables with seven women and their families, eating borsch and sipping tea.
“During the Communist years, the kitchen table was a safer place than a public setting for sharing one’s thoughts and beliefs,” Jill says. “The home setting is still where people feel most comfortable opening up and sharing their hearts.”
One of the women at the table that day, Anya*, had been in Jill’s first Bible discussion group in Eurasia years before. Anya had come to faith while she was a university student. They prayed together for Anya’s classmates as she shared her faith with them.
Now, as they sat at the kitchen table in Anya’s house along a dirt road on the outskirts of town, Anya told Jill about how she had started to meet some other women in the neighborhood. She was praying about the best way to develop relationships with them and meet their needs.
“In Eurasia, there is very little support for families in terms of marriage and parenting,” Jill says. “Anya and her husband have been discipled over the years, and she has a heart to help others. Anya is building friendships with her new neighbors, and hopes to start a mothers’ group.”
A few days later, Jill and Anya sat at another kitchen table, chopping vegetables with Victoria*.
“I introduced the two families last spring,” Jill says. “The older husband is now mentoring the younger one and equipping him to reach out to other men.”
Back in the States serving college students, Jill worked a campus information table in August. That’s where she met a new couple from Eurasia.
“The wife is now a regular in our weekly International Women’s Group, which always involves a table of food,” Jill says. “The group includes women from the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Eurasia. We pray for more opportunities to read Scripture with these women Life-to-Life.®”
Sharing tables, sharing life, sharing Jesus.
…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 NIV)
Pray for Jill, for believing families in Eurasia who are reaching out to others, and for fruitful Bible discussions with international women within Navigators International Student Ministry. Thank you for being a part of this vital ministry through your prayers, financial support, and encouragement!