International (MNN) — It’s a dangerous world out there.
ACAPS, an organization dedicated to improving the assessment of humanitarian aid in emergencies and crises, recently released a crisis overview of 2015. The report highlighted 17 countries that are facing the world’s worst humanitarian crises, as well as ongoing risks for 2016.
But while the physical suffering is great in these countries–most of which are in the Middle East and Africa, these crises are creating opportunities for something positive.
“Many [Christians] have fled for safety because of all of the war, but there are ministries that have decided to stay because they’ve had this unprecedented opportunity,” says Amy Cotton with Christian Aid Mission, an organization that assists indigenous missionaries around the world. “They’ve said, ‘We’ve been praying for years to be able to minister to these people, and now they’re coming to us in droves and wanting to know about Christ, because there’s such turmoil and chaos.'”
Some of these ministries that remain are ones supported by Christian Aid Mission. Of the 17 countries listed by ACAPS, most are places where Christian Aid Mission-supported missionaries are working.
“A lot of the ministries we assist work with orphans, widows, women, and children,” Cotton says. “They plant churches, do evangelism–sometimes underground if there’s a lot of persecution in that country–and also prison ministry.
“For all of them, relationship is key. They work on building a relationship, so there’s mutual understanding, and a trust develops. Then they’re able to share what Christ has done in their life, and meeting those needs, visiting them, following up, caring about them, genuinely having a concern and caring about what is going on in their lives and how they can be prayed for.”
This genuine love is making a difference. Though many Muslims have been taught that Christians are the enemy, believers are giving them quite a different impression.
“The church is growing in the Middle East…. They want to know who Jesus is,” Cotton says. “They want to know why these people are helping them in the name of Christ when they’ve always been told that Christians are infidels and bad people, yet they’re the ones who are reaching out and providing aid and caring for them.”
While this global crisis has given Christians a unique opportunity to share the Gospel, there are still different problems ministries continue to face. One of those is a shortage of supplies.
“Syria has had five years of civil war, and there are four million refugees who have gone to neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey and Lebanon; more than 700,000 have gone to European countries,” Cotton says. “So the ongoing need for aid has been kind of exacerbated. There are a lot of needs as these countries are closing off and are not sure if they want to accept more refugees.”
This is where you can help. Through financial gifts to Christian Aid Mission, you can equip native missionaries with the supplies they need to continue sharing the hope of Christ amidst a global crisis. Click here to donate.