Prior to 2014, I think our church in Istanbul had only 1-2 refugees associated with us. Now, given the current situation, we have had at least 17. Included in this number are a Syrian widow and her two sons.
This woman and her family used to live in Jordan, which is where her husband became ill and died. He was a well-known author in Syria, and his death could have been prevented, but they had no money for medical treatment while in Jordan.
So the remaining three in the family moved to Istanbul and through mutual friends, found our church. We welcomed them, and they tried to build a new life. However, it was too expensive, and hard to learn a new language, so they moved back to Syria (!).
From time to time I would communicate with the widow through social media to see how they were doing. And today, while pondering the current refugee crisis, I reached out to her.
“We are in Germany,” she wrote.
“How was your journey from Syria to Germany?” I asked.
“Oh my God! It was so difficult, but the Lord was with us. Thank you for your prayers for us.”
I want to thank everyone who has prayed for our ministry, our church and the millions of refugees coming from Iraq and Syria. When we began our church, I didn’t know that this great refugee crisis was going to happen. I am humbled to think that we have had a small role in helping refugees.
Some people are critical when they think of the refugees coming into Europe saying, “why are there so many young men?” and assuming they are all Muslims. I know of three children, two women, one 60 year old man and only two young men in their 20’s who would all call themselves Christian have made the difficult journey from death to life in Europe. These are ready to become productive citizens in Europe and to honor God. They are thankful that they have found a new home, far from ISIS.