Middle East (Christian Aid Mission/MNN) — Human rights advocates are bemoaning Friday’s EU deal.
As explained here, the EU deal allows refugees who try to flee to Europe to be brought back to Turkey.
A major problem with this, Human Rights Watch’s Bill Frelick observes, is that “any Syrian, Iraqi, or Afghan returned to Turkey would not be allowed to request refugee status there because Turkey excludes non-Europeans from qualifying for refugee status.”
Turkey is already holding the world’s largest refugee population. Between 2.7 and 3.5 million refugees have reportedly escaped to Turkey so far, with over 1 million moving on to Europe.
Nonetheless, God is at work.
EU deal: the silver lining
According to a recent Facebook post by Christian Aid Mission, indigenous missionaries are seeing church attendance boom as mostly-Muslim refugees come to learn about Christ.
When one leader in the Middle East started his ministry to refugees back in the fall of 2015, he hoped to have 100 people join his house church. Refugees are “very open” to the Gospel message, and as a result, over 100 people have flooded into this man’s church since it began.
He has set a new goal to shepherd 200 members of Christ’s flock. Pray that desperate refugees will respond to the Spirit as He introduces them to the Gospel Truth.
This is one of 16 indigenous ministries assisted by Christian Aid Mission in the Middle East. Below are more updates from Christian Aid Mission’s Prayerline:
MIDDLE EAST. Aman fled the day his brother bled to death in the streets of Syria. The two young terrorists had joined the Islamic State (ISIS) as fighters, but with his brother’s death, Aman spiraled into despair.
He escaped to Jordan and moved in with some displaced family members living outside a refugee camp. They invited him to a house church which provided food, warm blankets, and New Testaments.
Trained to hate Christians, Aman was deeply moved by the love the Christ-followers exhibited. He heard the Gospel through their lives and one day broke down, weeping and repenting for his sins.
His life was transformed. Now Aman shares the Gospel everywhere he goes. He is like Saul who became Paul. And this is happening across the Middle East as native missionaries share the Good News with Muslims who hunger for the Word.
You can make a difference. Ministries in the Middle East need tools for outreach. Bibles ($5 each) can bring eternal life to modern-day Saul’s. Pray for the Gospel to penetrate hard hearts.
MIDDLE EAST. Thousands of refugees sleep in the streets or in makeshift tents that are only tarps roped together. While this may have worked during the hot weather, flimsy plastic hardly shields from cold temperatures.
“There is a huge need for food, shelter, medicine, and schools for their kids,” the leaders said. “Officials warn that the situation is degenerating by the day. One said, ‘Apart from this aspect and the social and psychological impact, there is another very serious aspect: the health aspect.’
“Most of the incoming people live in very poor conditions and unhealthy places that lead to serious diseases.”
Mission teams demonstrate acts of love through providing needs. But the needs are beyond the local church capacity.
Yet many are coming to the Lord as native missionaries share the hope of the Savior. After teams deliver practical help and share the Gospel, refugees attend the local churches and some families, overcome by the love of God, receive Christ as Lord.
“We also started home groups among the refugees,” the leader said.
The indigenous ministry seeks emergency help to provide tents for refugee families who have fled the Islamic State (ISIS). The cost is $1,200 per tent. Pray that they would know eternal life through Christ.
SYRIA. Surrounded by death and destruction, Christians in Syria struggle to survive in a war zone. Recent sieges have led to rising food prices, food and water shortages, and power outages. Yet God has motivated the hearts of many believers to reach out with the powerful message of the gospel.
Jesus for Kids ministers to children and their families and plans to disciple and equip 160 workers throughout Syria in a week-long training program ($297 per person). The kindness and joy shown by the Christ-followers contrasts the stark trauma these families experience from their Muslim brothers, and many children and their parents come to faith in the Lord.
Pray for lasting fruit.
IRAQ. Internally Displaced People (IDP) living in tents and open buildings in the mountains of northern Iraq struggle to survive frigid winter temperatures. These who fled their homes and all they owned to escape the Islamic State need warm blankets ($20 each). Most vulnerable are children and infants.
An indigenous ministry wants to provide 1,000 blankets to help IDPs. This love in action warms hearts to the Gospel. Pray for those who face such hardship to receive the hope that is found in Christ alone.
Christ-followers offer living hope, an enduring hope that never fades nor spoils. Hope has hands and feet, and hope has a heart. The hope of the gospel reaching through native missionaries who say ‘yes’ to the overwhelming sea of needy people can raise dead hearts and heal wounded lives.
When IDPs see the love expressed through provision—warmth in the cold, life-saving warmth for their children—they see Christ Jesus.
Would you pray that every displaced person may see Him as workers bring warm blankets and share the gospel? Pray that they would hope in the Lord.