Germany (MNN) — There have been three terrorist attacks in Germany over the last two weeks of July, carried out in the name of Islamic extremism by refugees.
The most recent attack was a Syrian suicide bomber who detonated at a music festival and injured 15 people on Sunday, July 24. The bomber left behind a video pledging loyalty to ISIS.
Out of all the European countries, Germany currently has the most open refugee policy for accepting asylum seekers. The country took in over 1 million refugees last year. But citizens in Germany are torn between support for the open-door policy, and criticisms of what it could mean for security.
Matt Morrison with e3 Partners recently got back from traveling in Germany. While there has been a wide range of response to the refugees coming into Germany, Morrison was able to witness some of the positive responses during his travels.
“One of the things that really moved me, we were in one smaller town where there were actually two refugee camps stationed there, and this is a very wealthy community. What so blew me away was, not only did they seem to welcome the refugees who were there, but in addition to that, one of the rather wealthy neighbors in that community had actually put up to about one million euros [1.11 million USD] to help fund the development of one of the camps.
“It really is a wide-ranging attitude, but some of the reception that I saw out of some of the Germans to the refugees was unbelievably moving.”
The Church in Germany has also embraced the opportunity to minister to refugees, as God brings those from closed nations into an environment where they can hear about Jesus Christ — maybe even for the first time.
“One of the exciting things about the city we were in was there were a number of churches that had a very missional approach; and because of that missional approach they were already operating with, it has put them in a very unique position to be able to meet the refugees. So one of the things we were doing…was just setting up picnics and bringing water and food and juices and little picnic blankets. We would throw frisbees and we would play with soccer balls and throw footballs,” shares Morrison.
“Because of the work situation for these refugees, they’re not allowed to work until they’ve received permanent placement, and so many of them are just dying for something to do. So they would come out and we would get to have these incredible conversations with them. These are the kinds of efforts and the kind of work that’s being done on a daily basis by the Christians there, and it’s opening up these Gospel conversations. While many of these refugees are skeptical and it’s a slow-moving process, as these relationships build, it’s making a big difference.”
They could really use your prayers right now as Germany continues to discern how to handle incoming refugees, and German Christians explore how best to reach out to those finding asylum in their communities.
Morrison offers these requests: “One of the big things to pray for right now is that the security concerns will begin to alleviate, that there won’t be this growing tension. You can really pray for the German people and for the refugees both… for their safety.
“The other thing I would do is pray for the German believers who are over there right now with a heart for their country and with a heart for the nations. Be praying that they will be able to continue having these conversations…. And then just pray that God will move in the hearts of these refugees.”
If you feel compelled to participate in some of the refugee outreach you’ve read about with e3 Partners, Morrison says there’s a way you can get involved!
“We are continuing to do missions trips in Germany, and you can actually go to e3partners.org/germany and learn more there. We have more trips going into the books for the remainder of 2016 and going into 2017.”