Why Did You Come to Morocco?
Tyler Reeve serves as a Global Mission Intern with the EEAM (Église Évangélique au Maroc). His appointment is supported by Week of Compassion.
The question comes up in many settings, as we are a community almost entirely made up of immigrants. People’s answers to this question often depend on what they left behind.
This question could be posed to a fellow EEAM (Église Évangélique au Maroc) church member, though in many ways this is not your typical church. Trying to respect and include the innumerable backgrounds, traditions, denominations and religious educations of Protestants from all over Africa and Europe is not easy. And being a small minority of the population, working ecumenically with other Christian groups and engaging in interreligious dialogue with our Muslim neighbors is essential. Easily one of the most highly-represented demographics in the EEAM is college and graduate students from Western Sub-Saharan Africa (how many churches would be thrilled to be able to say they were not only filled with but growing in number of 20-30 year-olds?), which brings with it the enthusiasm and joy of youth in addition to the challenge of maintaining some consistency in a membership that has a 20% annual turn-over rate. When the question comes up here, “for my studies” is a common answer.
It is also a question on the form that is filled out by the migrants and refugees who are requesting aid from the Comité d’Entreaide Internationale (CEI), the EEAM’s outreach organization. The CEI works wherever there is an EEAM congregation – eleven different cities all over Morocco. Through their many programs and efforts, including help paying rent, college scholarships, access to health care, payment and accompaniment through medical procedures, food and blanket handouts, technical training, language courses, and more, the local and national CEI teams try to meet the vast and varying needs of the people who are experiencing the harshest difficulties while in Morocco. The CEI also has close relationships with other organizations that can provide additional services and resources. The migrant populations are diverse and their situations and needs vary from city to city. In addition to education, CEI workers asking why people are in this country often hear “to find a job,” “to try to get into Europe,” “to escape my home country.”
So why did I come to Morocco? I am working as a Global Missions Intern through one of the EEAM’s newest partners, Global Ministries. I do some translation work, some communications work, and some more hands-on work with the CEI, but more than anything I listen and I learn. I cannot help but learn. In this environment tolerance, acceptance, and respect are foundational principles by necessity and uncertainty is a fact of life. I have been welcomed, fascinated, and inspired.
Tyler Reeve serves as a Global Mission Intern with the EEAM (Église Évangélique au Maroc). His appointment is supported by your gifts to Week of Compassion, Disciples’ Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission and your special gifts.