by Sam George PhD, Catalyst for the Diasporas with the Lausanne Movement, 5/17/17.
God is doing is something new and exciting in the midst of this great crisis. In December 2016, I had the opportunity to witness first-hand what God is doing among and through the refugees in Europe. I travelled through ten cities in five countries over three weeks visiting many refugee camps, as well as churches and missions agencies working with them. A month before, I visited three cities in three other countries. Over this period, I interviewed many refugee ministry leaders in Europe in order to assess and study the desperate situation and the response of God’s people to it.
It was amazing for me to be present at meetings where hundreds of refugees turned to Christ. I visited several fellowships and churches that have baptized hundreds of refugees. One church in Germany had baptized over a thousand Syrian and Kurdish people over the previous six months. At our own meetings each night in different cities in Greece and Germany, we saw almost all of the refugees present responding to the gospel. There are over 100 Arabic-speaking churches across Europe, some predating the crisis and others started in response to it. They are not only very engaged with the issue, but also highly effective on account of their linguistic and cultural proximity to the refugees.
Only God could have turned such a desperate situation into such a mission opportunity, and what is happening lies beyond the strategic planning of any church or mission agency:
One refugee ministry leader admitted, ‘God brought me here to Germany a few years ago and prepared me for this ministry to refugees. I never saw this coming!’
One pastor in Northern Germany confessed, ‘Starting an outreach to the refugees was the best thing that happened in this church over the last 50 years and is the most exciting part of our church life right now’.
Yet another pastor in Greece informed me that three quarters of his church now comprise refugees, all of whom have joined within the previous six months…
Read more at … https://www.lausanne.org/content/lga/2017-05/god-reviving-europe-refugees?utm_source=Lausanne+Movement+List&utm_campaign=cc8a6f4d04-Lausanne_Global_Analysis+-Mar2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_602c1cb67d-cc8a6f4d04-91675265