Our partner church, the EvFree Church of (FeG) Dresden, is located across the street from a hotel that the city took over some months ago to convert into temporary living quarters for asylum seekers. Due to the conflicts and wars in other parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, many people are fleeing their homeland with little but the clothes on their backs and seeking safety in Europe. Germany, because of it's high standard of living, is one of their top destinations and the number of asylum seekers has risen to unprecedented levels in the past couple of years.
In our church we have been praying for the asylum seekers who have been assigned by the city to live in the hotel across the street. How can we reach out to them? How can we serve them in Jesus' name?
A few months ago the church leadership asked who wanted to volunteer to serve on a new team being formed to minister to refugees, particularly those across the street. A handful of folks volunteered and they started by inviting the team from a well-known international ministry in Hamburg to provide some basic training. Shortly thereafter, they put on a dinner in the church which was attended by about 30 refugees—they all had a great time. The team has recently opened the church's café one day a week to provide a place for refugees to hang out, drink coffee and practice their German. At the same time they're also offering German classes. And the refugees are taking advantage of these opportunities!
One of the refugees I've gotten to know started coming to church almost immediately after he moved to Dresden. Although he's from a Muslim country, he never really believed the Koran. He saw the church's sign and showed up one Sunday morning with lots of questions. One of the interesting things about his doubts has to do with the way Muslim men in his country disrespect women. One of his first questions about Christianity was: "What does the Bible teach about women?"
I happened to be preaching the Sunday evening that he showed up. After my message, one of the woman who's on the refugee ministry team asked me if I would talk to him. I did and then we met again last week. I shared the Gospel with him and he accepted Jesus as his Savior, praying to accept him in his native tongue—a language I'd never heard of. He experienced a lot of hardship on his way to Germany and said that the only reason he is still alive is because Jesus was watching over him. This young man plans to get baptized soon; he wants to follow Jesus' way of love. Please pray that he will stand firm in his new faith and that he will grow.
– Jeff Ingram
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