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Refugee camps = mission field

By November 5, 2015
(Photo courtesy Paul Spiegel via Twitter)

(Photo courtesy Paul Spiegel via Twitter)

Middle East (MNN) — Europe is juggling refugees, shifting dozens from Greece and Italy to other member nations of the European Union.

According to The Guardian, just over 100 refugees were transported from entry points in Greece and Italy to other member nations of the European Union.

Only 1,418 spaces in 14 nations have been opened for refugees, though the EU vows to relocate 160,000 refugees in the next two years.

Whether they take shelter on Europe’s shores or Middle East refugee camps, hope is a lost commodity for people displaced by war.

“They’re coming into a very difficult situation where they’ve lost everything,” says World Mission’s Greg Kelley.

“But, at the same time, it really creates a unique opportunity for the Gospel.”

Working with local believers, World Mission is helping meet the physical needs of people in refugee camps throughout the Middle East.

Sharing Christ in refugee camps

The Treasure is designed to be used in a group listening setting.  (Photo cred: World Mission)

The Treasure is designed to be used in a group listening setting.
(Photo credit World Mission)

Meeting today’s needs is only the tip of the iceberg for World Mission and its partners.

“We can’t just leave them with a new blanket or the food,” Kelley says. “We need to explain what Jesus did and how Jesus paid the ultimate price for their lives.”

Coming from nations resistant to Christianity, the message shared by believers in refugee camps is often an unfamiliar one.

Countries ruled by Islamic law typically don’t allow evangelism, Kelley explains, so a “Gospel presence” would be non-existent. Islam is the only religion many refugees know.

“ISIS, and other radical aspects of Islam, have created hostility. So, now people have a comparison,” says Kelley.

“When they come into the presence of a God who loves them and cares for them and who literally gave His life for them, now there is a choice [to be made].”

Nepal Treasure dist

(Photo credit World Mission)

Audio Scripture devices called Treasures are central to the process. The Treasure  is a solar-powered audio Bible that carries over 400 hours of God’s Word.

But, sharing the Gospel with a person without also meeting their immediate need is religious action devoid of love. That’s why World Mission puts the two together, meeting both physical and spiritual needs in refugee camps.

Meeting needs on two levels

Lebanon has taken in over one million Syrian refugees, according to the UN. However, the figure isn’t a correct one, as Lebanon’s government stopped taking applications in May.

Officials may have stopped counting, but refugee camps are overflowing nonetheless. Lebanese churches are asking World Mission to help them fulfill the needs on their doorstep.

(Photo courtesy World Mission via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy World Mission via Facebook)

“Our strategy, as an organization, is to come alongside [refugees] and love them, and show them–without expectations, without conditions–love, in the form of [physical assistance],” explains Kelley.

“As we’re doing the medical [care] and ministering to them, providing food, we’re able to deliver the Gospel [using the Treasure] in the Sorani and the Arabic languages.”

Learn more about World Mission’s work in Lebanon here.

“They’re receiving that; their hearts are open, and we’re hearing of such an enthusiasm for the Word of God–right in the refugee camps.”

World Mission can only send Treasures with help from readers like you. Ask the Lord how He’d have you respond, and then, if He leads, take further action here.

One Comment

  • Joachim Berg says:

    Hey,
    Your work is amazing! I am serching and aplliing for a gap year and i am interested in the middle east. Is there a possibilty to do this with World Mission in Lebanon?
    God Bless
    Joachim Berg

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