Europe (MNN) — The refugee crisis is threatening to “break” Europe.
Countries like Greece, already under a great deal of financial strain, now have even more mouths to feed.
The UN and its partners are calling for more money to provide refugee care and help European nations handle the massive influx.
Jews living in Germany fear a new storm of anti-semitism is on the horizon, as refugees associate Jews with Israel–a sworn enemy.
And yet, in the midst of Europe’s peril, E3 Partners is offering a different perspective.
“We live in a time of unprecedented opportunity,” says *Andrew, an E3 worker serving the Lord in Germany.
“God in His sovereignty and His providence…is choosing to allow these people to move into regions and into spheres where they’re both receptive and accessible to the Gospel for the very first time.”
Seeing ourselves in the refugee crisis
Denmark, along with other refugee destinations like Sweden, are finding ways to compensate the strain refugee care puts on their national budget. One of the latest measures involves confiscating valuables from refugees to “pay for their stay.”
With valid reason, some people call for national security and advocate shutting Europe’s doors to incoming refugees. They use stories like this one to stir up feelings of fear and mistrust toward refugee populations.
However, Andrew says most of the refugees he’s worked with don’t quite fit that description. Many people driven from their homes in Syria have come from middle-class backgrounds and were previously employed as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, etc.
“I’ve walked with them, I’ve crossed borders in Europe with them, I’ve carried their children,” Andrew shares. “They’re people just like us [but] who are in desperate, desperate situations.
“Like a lot of us, when you’re faced with terrible circumstances, you’re trying to get to a place where you can start a better life and you can find hope.”
In Germany, E3 Partners is working with local believers to help refugees find a new home and new hope.
Some of the refugees they encounter are from “unreached people groups, unengaged people groups; many who’ve never heard [the name of Christ],” says Andrew.
“We’re able to interact with [them] on the streets and openly share our own redemptive stories — how God has changed our lives – and then [we share] the Gospel and God’s redemptive story, and invite people into a relationship with Him.”
What can YOU do about the refugee crisis?
Starting in March, you can be part of E3’s efforts to make Christ known among refugees in Germany. As Andrew observes, there may be no better time than the present to reach this population with the Gospel.
“[Refugees are] questioning their own worldview. They’re outside of their host culture; they’re trying to find life in a new land, meeting new people. We often find that a lot of the stereotypes they have [against] people from the West…start coming down,” says Andrew.
“European cities have, literally, hundreds and hundreds of different ethnicities living within a very small area…. We just see it as an opportunity to see God’s Kingdom expand.”
* name changed for security purposes