Although we are in Greece today, our advent calendar tells the story of one of the many refugees who have fled conflict and violence in their home country and arrived in Europe. Like Paul in the Bible, we share the story of R,* whose whole life was turned around by an encounter with the living Saviour!
R, a devout and radical Muslim, came to know the Lord in Greece eight years ago.
He had been raised in a Qur’anic school from the age of seven and had become an imam by the age of 17. As a young man, he moved to Greece to start mosques and to win people to his radical brand of Islam.
In the Greek capital, he had a supernatural encounter with God and was saved.
Back in his home country, his family wanted to kill him when they found out about his faith in Christ. Following repeated attacks on his life, he managed to flee elsewhere in Europe. He started to evangelise in his refugee camp and again was brutally beaten by other refugees. He was in intensive care for a few weeks, as they had stabbed him in the stomach and broken his skull.
None of these drawbacks could stop his zeal to share the gospel with other refugees, and to train young believers from Afghanistan and Iran to become disciples of Jesus, and to share the gospel among their kinsmen.
Over the last two years God has used him to establish over 20 small churches among Afghan and Iranian refugees. He regularly trains and coaches the leaders of these small church plants. Some of these groups of believers meet in coffee shops; others in side rooms of restaurants, in the open air or in private flats with believers sitting on a carpet.
None of these drawbacks could stop his zeal to share the gospel
*name changed to protect identity
- for the opportunities to share the gospel with refugees from a Muslim background entering Europe via Greece
- for more people from Europe to serve in this mission field, and for churches to seize the opportunity to love and serve refugees
- for new believers as they come up against opposition from their families or fellow refugees.