Regardless of what you think the U.S. and other nations should do about the Syrian refugee crisis, as believers in Christ, we should be concerned about the physical and spiritual well-being of these refugees. There are more than 11 million of them. God made them in his image. Most importantly, we should consider how recent events affect these Syrians in terms of their access to the gospel.
Ministering Syrian Refugees
Ibrahim, a former Muslim who is now bearing witness to Christ among Syrian refugees. His story, which Cort Gatliff originally posted over at TGC, is a reminder of God’s grace, the cost of discipleship, and the very real trials being faced by those directly involved in this crisis:
Since the civil war broke out in Syria four years ago and the Islamic State established its self-proclaimed caliphate, more than 11 million Syrians left their homes in order to escape the violence. This created one of the most urgent humanitarian crises in recent memory. Many have been displaced internally. But millions of others have sought refuge in neighboring countries. Some 2 million people have fled across Turkey’s porous 500-mile-long border with Syria. It is the front line of the refugee crisis. According to the International Rescue Committee, Istanbul alone is home to more Syrian refugees than the rest of Europe combined.
Sharing the Gospel
In the middle of this chaos, Ibrahim, a former Muslim who left behind his home in Syria, is serving refugees in Istanbul. He takes advantage of every opportunity to tell them about his faith in Jesus. “This is the best time for the Muslim refugees to hear the message,” Ibrahim says. “Their hearts are so soft.” He spends his days ministering to those in this massive forced migration. But he’s also waiting to be granted immigrant status so he can reunite with his wife in the United States. He hasn’t seen her since 2013. Since becoming a follower of Jesus in 2004, Ibrahim felt God was calling him to serve among his Muslim neighbors.
He just never knew what that would look like, until now.
Read the rest of Ibrahim’s story. Let Ibrahim’s testimony be a reminder to you to pray for the endurance of believers in that region of the world. Pray for the spread of the gospel to those who, apart from this crisis, would never hear it.
To learn more about engaging Muslims and other religious groups with the gospel, join David Platt for Secret Church 16, “A Global Gospel in a World of Religions.”