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When your missionary met Aziza, Aziza had given up on the church. Now she's helping to lead one of Resonate's ministries in the Middle East.

When you sent Resonate missionary Ann* to a country in the Middle East, one of the first things she needed to do was to start learning Arabic. That’s how Ann met Aziza*.

“I’m not good at learning languages,” said Ann. “It’s the bane of my existence. Nobody wants to be my Arabic teacher—Aziza asked to be my Arabic teacher.”

As Ann and Aziza met together and worked through vocabulary and verb conjugations, they became friends. Both Christians in a country where most people practice Islam, they felt a sense of relief that they could be open with one another about their faith. Ann already knew Aziza had unique gifts and a heart for helping people—but she also learned that Aziza wanted to serve God and wasn’t sure how. 

“She was in a place where she had given up serving in the church,” said Ann. “She had felt hurt. She had felt misused.”

Start of a Friendship

That’s one of the reasons why language learning is so special for your missionaries. Not only does language learning help partnerships with local ministries thrive, but it also gives your missionaries an opportunity to meet with and learn from people like Aziza.

“I didn’t have a good experience with leaders. I didn’t want to be around leaders,” said Aziza. “But when I met Ann, it was okay because she wasn’t my leader. She was my student. We could be friends first.”

As their friendship grew, Ann invited Aziza to participate in a ministry opportunity for young adults that you help to make possible: Cohort Middle East. The cohort is a group of young adults from diverse cultures and backgrounds who live in community, serve in a local ministry, and engage in deep spiritual formation to discover God’s purpose for their lives and the world.

After multiple invitations, Aziza agreed—and her life has never been the same.

A New Opportunity

Aziza found that Cohort Middle East was challenging. With Arabic speakers and English speakers coming together, they needed to work hard to understand one another. They learned how to live in community with one another. They visited ministry sites and asked tough questions about sin and brokenness in the world, and they used and grew their gifts in ministry.

“I realized I had opinions to share and started seeing new ideas,” said Aziza. “I also realized the possibilities in others and encouraged them to join.”

By the end of the six months, Aziza trusted leaders again—and she had grown into a leader herself. Aziza now co-leads Cohort Middle East with Ann. Both of Aziza’s siblings have also participated!

A Future Missionary Overseas?

Thank you for your heart for mission throughout the world! You have encouraged and equipped Aziza. She calls Cohort Middle East a “life-changing experience.” She not only helps to lead the cohort now, but she also dreams of becoming a missionary in another country someday.

“I never thought Aziza would get to that point. I didn’t know if she would get over her fear, over her hurt, but she has,” said Ann. “It’s been a joy working with her. She’s one of the delights in my life.”

*Names changed for security