“Don’t come home! Go to your friend’s house,” Donya’s* mother warned her over the phone. “Three men came here looking for you. They searched our house, took your computer and told me that they have questions for you. I was so frightened! It’s not safe for you here!”
Why was Donya in danger in her own home? She’d chosen to follow Christ.
Flight, Fear … and Fellowship
Alone and in shock, Donya fled her hometown, arriving a few days later in another Middle Eastern city in which several Christar workers are reaching out to refugees.
Husband and wife Afshin and Shirin came to Christar workers with a similar story. Afshin shares,
We visited an old orthodox church in our country. God touched our hearts there and we went in search of the Bible. We wanted to know more about Jesus and found some folks in our city who explained more.
One night at a friend’s house, I was sharing that we had become followers of Jesus. I didn’t know that there was a camera hidden that was taping everything I said. Later I heard that the authorities were after me. I fled here with my family.
God is bringing believers like Donya, Afshin and Shirin to the doorsteps of Christar workers in multiple refugee communities around the world. Many come from countries that Christian workers cannot enter and where there are very few opportunities for discipleship and fellowship.
From offering practical assistance to providing counseling to simply meeting for prayer and fellowship, Christar workers are able to come alongside these refugees. Believers are strengthening each other in ways that, in many cases, would not have been possible had these refugees remained in their homelands.
Workers are also able to help many asylum seekers to deal with their pain and loss. In one city, Christar workers recently hosted a counselor who conducted four days of art therapy to help a group of refugees process the difficulties, persecution and trauma they’ve endured.
God Uses His Persecuted People
Believing refugees represent just a small fraction of those seeking asylum, but God is using them in big ways among their fellow refugees. Many are serving as powerful testimonies to refugees who have yet to hear the gospel. Five people recently came to faith and were baptized through a small fellowship led by believing refugees. And this is far from an isolated incident: Workers’ ministries to refugee believers are having a similar ripple effect in many communities.
We’re trusting God to multiply this ripple effect when refugee believers move on from the places in which they’re seeking asylum. Wherever they immigrate—whether to refugee communities in lands far away or back home, often in countries where Christian workers cannot go—we pray that they’ll be stronger and better equipped to share the gospel and make disciples.
How can I get involved?
- Praise God for opening opportunities for Christar workers to demonstrate the love of Christ to refugees.
- Praise the Lord for building His church in a number of refugee communities!
- Pray for wisdom for workers who are discipling believers who have endured great hardship.
- Ask God to use counseling programs run by Christar workers to help refugees heal from the trauma they’ve experienced.
- Ask God to use the testimony of refugee believers to draw other refugees to faith in Christ, not only in their temporary homes, but in the communities to which they immigrate.
Your gift to our Relief and Refugees Fund allows Christar workers to partner with local believers to reach out to those who’ve been discplaced.