“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Gospel of John 15:5-8
Today we dedicate two homes. One with Petrina McCoy at her new home in Southeast Raleigh and one in the middle eastern country of Jordan, both of which have been built in honor and memory of Our Three Winners—the students tragically murdered in Chapel Hill in February. Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu Salha and her sister Razan were volunteers of ours and lived lives of service and compassion. We miss them terribly!
In a Story Corps interview recorded about nine months before her death, Yusor shared her thoughts on how grateful she was to be an American:
“Growing up in America has been such a blessing. And although in some ways I do stand out, such as the hijab I wear on my head, the head covering, there are still so many ways that I feel so embedded in the fabric that is, you know, our culture.”
Volunteerism is embedded in the fabric of life in the U.S. Deah, Yusor, and Razan embraced this volunteer spirit in many, many causes. Inspired by their Muslim faith desire to serve, they embedded themselves in our Christian organization—and we welcomed them as our faith would have it.
Jesus says, embed yourself in God’s work and you will bear much fruit. Thanks to our young Muslim friends for helping us to see that in such a powerful way!