A baby shower seems simple. Gifts, flowers, laughter; the party is a time of preparation and celebration of new life and a growing family. Love and expectancy are the essence of life in Christ. And while this practice may seem commonplace to some, it can make all the difference for a new mom in a new country.
Dr. Samira Izadi Page knows just how impactful a baby shower can be for a refugee mom. As the founder and executive of director of Gateway of Grace, she throws her fair share of celebrations. Gateway of Grace is a Dallas-based ministry that provides services and Christian care for refugees from nine countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria. One area of ministry is its education program. Refugee women attend English as a Second Language classes but also find community and support. One way of supporting refugee families is providing baby showers for new moms.
She explains that many refugee women served “are extremely oppressed with no sense of identity. Many of them are young moms who are illiterate or have very little education. Because of this, and language barriers, they are disadvantaged from opportunities for acculturation, income and general liberties for personal and economic growth.”
Here’s her story about an expectant mom and the love of Christ in community.
One of the sweetest stories was a baby shower that we provided for a young, first-time-mom from Afghanistan. She did not have any relatives in the U.S. and the community at Gateway of Grace School has become her family.
She was very excited to receive a baby shower as she had seen a few that we had done before. On the day of the shower, our volunteers set a beautiful table with a baby cake and food in addition to gifts, from bed to stroller to diapers.
She skyped her mom in Afghanistan and her mom witnessed the shower. I was moved to pray in Farsi for not only the mom and her family, but also for the people of Afghanistan.
The mother of the woman for whom we had the shower heard and saw everything including the prayers for the people of Afghanistan via Skype. Her daughter, the expecting mom, told her that we were Christians.
John 13:35 states, “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one another” (NRSV). This powerful story reveals how a simple celebration can have lasting impact on a life.
Gateway of Grace is a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering recipient. Join us in the Hunger Offering 5th Sunday on May 29 as a church or give online at hungeroffering.org .
May we be a people known by the way we love.
Dr. Samira Izadi Page is the founder and executive director of Gateway of Grace Ministries.
Samira has committed her life to bringing the hope and love of Christ to those whose hope, dignity, and humanity have been taken away by oppressive governments and circumstances. She frequently speaks nationally and internationally at conferences, churches and other venues on issues of interfaith relations, Islam and Christianity, and refugee outreach.
Samira works cross-denominationally with pastors and mission leaders and moves local congregations into new ways of mission and outreach.
Samira was born and raised in Iran as a Muslim. Samira and her family fled Iran due to persecution and obtained political asylum status in the U.S. Samira converted to Christianity and was baptized at
Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas.
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