As we begin a new year, Sunrise remains dedicated to helping its clients find peace and freedom from fear through Christ’s love. Fear has dominated Aisha’s life in America: fear of an alien culture, fear of neglect and domestic violence, and fear of abandonment. A young girl from a Muslim family, Aisha’s greatest fear is that she’ll suffer divine retribution for betraying her faith.
In April 2016, Sunrise Family Services counselor Ginger Smith was contacted by officials from a local school seeking help for Aisha, who had exhibited anxiety over problems at home. A subsequent investigation identified signs of neglect, and Aisha was placed with a local family who took her to church with them on Sundays, but did not ask her to abandon her Muslim faith.
Aisha became interested in the Bible, wanting to learn more about Jesus and Mary. But her curiosity took an emotional toll. She felt guilty and feared that Allah would take vengeance on her and her foster parents for insulting Islam.
Aisha continued to read the Bible, but her misgivings have remained. “She can’t say the name ’Jesus’ without having a fearful look come over her face,” Ginger said.
That hasn’t stopped Aisha from learning more about Jesus’ life and teachings. As they discussed the Bible, Ginger described Jesus’ importance to Christians and the role that Christmas and Easter play in the Christian faith.
“Aisha asked me, ’Did you know that Jesus was God’s son, not his Dad?,’” Ginger said. “From that point I got to share with this beautiful little girl how much Jesus loved her and how he came to Earth, and why we celebrate Christmas and Easter.”
For Ginger, spreading Jesus’ message of love and understanding is at the very heart of her mission and ministry as a therapist.
“I don’t know what God will do with this event, but I know that Aisha has heard the gospel message. Do I have a great job, or what?” Ginger said.