Written by: Luke Williams, World Relief Seattle Interim Director
I vividly remember the night, in November 2011, that I met Bal—I helped his caseworker pick his family up at the airport. One of the first things he asked me about in excited, thick-accented English was my faith. He wanted to know if I was a brother in Christ. As someone who had endured significant persecution and isolation as a follower of Christ, he was eager to meet other believers and to find out if what he had heard was really true: could his family finally enjoy religious freedom here in the States? As we walked back and forth from the World Relief truck to their apartment, bringing in the last few household items, Bal was already encouraging me in my faith, telling me how God was using me for his purposes by welcoming families like his who needed a safe place to live in freedom.
That was the first of many times that Bal has spoken encouraging and challenging words to me. Our families have become friends, sharing meals together, going to the zoo, deciphering our different accents and phrases, and of course praying together. Today, Bal is working hard in a housekeeping job. He recently changed his work schedule to allow him to continue his studies in the afternoons. His wife, Uma, has learned a lot more English and their little boy is growing up strong and healthy. Perhaps the thing that Bal is most excited about these days is that he is now leading the youth group of the Bhutanese Christian Fellowship at Kent Covenant Church. Each Saturday morning, Bal gathers a group of young men and women to grow in their faith and develop their God-given talents. I doubt there is a youth leader in the American Church who is more thrilled simply to have the chance to teach a Bible study in freedom.