Greece (OM) — Operation Mobilization workers witness a new openness toward God and the Gospel among the thousands of refugees on their way to Europe. Gabby Markus, leader of OM Greece, shares how God is working in the lives of refugees in various countries:
Getting the Word in their hands
When we went to the Greek island of Lesvos for our initial need assessment trip, there was a Dutch organization. They were leaving and didn’t know what to do with their stakes of Bibles in Arabic, Farsi a,nd Dari.
We took them and left them with a church on the island, where a Canadian lady attended. That church with 30 people provided meals for about 100 refugees in a time where about 10,000 refugees arrived on the island. When serving the meals, church members offered Bibles to the refugees.
Some weeks later, one of the refugees arrived at the Greek/Macedonian border with one of these Bibles in his hands. He went up to one of the volunteers, who used to be a student on Lesvos, and told her he had already met people exactly like her. “There is something different with these people,” he said.
He told the girl that he read the Bible on his way and wanted to become a follower of Christ. The girl asked him who he got the Bible from, and he told her about the Canadian lady on Lesvos. It turned out that the girl and the Canadian women knew each other.
When the women eventually talked on the phone, the Canadian woman was thrilled to learn that someone decided to become a Christian because of the Bible she gave away.
A pastor preaches on the path to Austria
Hein van der Merwe, the project coordinator of OM’s ministry on Lesvos, experienced something similar. He met an Iranian refugee who stepped off the boat and said, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you,Jesus!” Hein was wondering what that was about and asked the man if he was a Christian. He turned out to be a pastor.
The OM team tried to arrange accommodation and food for him and his wife, but the pastor texted a day later that they were leaving straight for the border. A week later, Hein got another text saying: “We’re safe in Austria. But I wanted to let you know that on the way, I led another Iranian to Christ.”
It’s amazing how God is reaching out to refugees. These are just two people, but I’m sure there are a lot more stories like these.
In the meantime, please pray that refugees would continue to encounter the Gospel and Christ’s redeeming love.