Jacob Mau has been part of our spiritual family here in Chicago for five years. I have asked him to be a guest writer because he is passionate about inviting people into the stories of refugee families he works with. His benefit album Seven Years demonstrates the power of telling and hearing life stories, which is a key component of disciple-making.
Jacob shares about the project below:
Disciple-making means intentionally entering into another person’s story and receiving him or her as a means of the Lord’s grace in your own life. Lewie and the community he often writes of in Imitating Jesus modeled this life-posture for me beginning in 2008. They extended themselves in friendship, listened, asked questions, entered my vulnerability, and took the time to understand the details of my story.
This journey in discipleship ran parallel to my daily work of assisting former refugees in Chicago through an organization called World Relief. As I was being discipled, I also rubbed shoulders with people from all over the world whose stories contain hardship I can’t imagine and heroism I’ll never comprehend. Just as Lewie and others heard a call to enter into my story, I received continual invitations to enter into the stories of former refugee families from Iraq, Burma, Nepal, Sudan, Afghanistan, and other conflict areas around the globe.
Those divine invitations, when I heeded them well, became a means of transformation in my life, and the people behind them became a part of my story. Seven Years is the culmination of a long-standing desire to extend that invitation to as many others as possible. All proceeds from the album go to World Relief.
It is an honor to share this project here, because outside of my friendship with Lewie and other Jesus-followers in Chicago who have welcomed me into their lives and their stories, I am not certain it would have ever come to fruition.
Please download, donate, share, and enjoy!