This Tuesday was the International day of friendship. As always it’s a great excuse to celebrate the life long friendships we have. Whether it’s a friend anniversary post on Facebook or a thoughtful message via text. Either way, friends are there for you no matter what.

I discovered an incredible new friendship when I volunteered with Tearfund Go and spent 3 months in Bangladesh. Although this meant leaving friends behind in the UK, I made some wonderful new ones with my fellow volunteers. 25 year old Bappy was one such friend.

Friends around the world

I got to know Bappy extremely well during my time in Bangladesh. He had already been involved in 3 voluntary groups with Tearfund, working alongside UK volunteers to benefit local communities. And he absolutely loves it:

‘It’s a great opportunity having overseas friends. They’re brilliant guys and I’ve learnt a lot from them… I discovered my Jesus from them. They helped me every day to know about Jesus.’

Despite living with so many restrictions and barriers in his way, Bappy has managed to thrive and make the most out of his mission as a disciple of Jesus. He cheerfully gives his time to others. This is what I admire and value about Bappy. He has given his undivided attention towards others and expects nothing in return. Clearly his faith has given him a great outlook on life. I asked him what keeps his faith strong:

‘Whenever I sing a song, you feel something in your heart. Jesus working inside your heart. When I sing a song and pray, I feel my heart change…God has changed my life. He definitely changed my life.’

To have a friend who speaks so passionately about their faith is truly inspiring. This has made me want to do the same. The outcome of worship can undoubtedly move people to do incredible things. I have learnt so much from Bappy, and I value his friendship more the longer I know him. Though he is far from reach, I will always seek council from a loyal friend. And during my volunteering placement, I learnt tackling poverty is best done together with friends around the world.

Two heads are better than one

Volunteering work in a team is really beneficial rather than on your own. When working alone, you can face countless problems such as a lack of; support, motivation, and guidance to know and do what is best. However, when you have close and loyal friendships working alongside you, the impossible becomes possible. No more strain is put upon your shoulders.

This is why we must keep our friends close. Within the Bible, David and Jonathon formed an inseparable friendship between the two of them. Jonathon was a prince at the age of 50, while David was a shepard aged 20. Yet their differences did not matter. It was their strong faith and deep love for God that made their friendship count. Having that special friend means you can rely and fall back on them when needed.

Our friends need not match our own background, but faith transcends age and borders. Jonathan and David were able to strengthen and encourage each other in this way. ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’ (Proverbs 27:17) 

So I think it’s time we let God unite us together and use our friendships for good. When we stand together, there’s so much that we can achieve. Together we can change the world.