“We have lost everything, but we have found Jesus, and now we have everything!” This is what I was told recently by Syrian refugees who fled their homes, their families, and their jobs to avoid death at the hands of the opposing forces that are decimating their communities and nation.
Last week I was humbled to be in the presence of these brothers and sisters, among other Middle Eastern believers, many of them former Muslims that Jesus had called to Himself. Many of these individuals had fled their nations into unfriendly neighboring nations, only to be welcomed into the communities and homes of Christians who have been obedient to Jesus’ instruction to “love your enemies.”
A boy woke up one morning and excitedly shared a vivid dream with his parents. He had seen a white-robed man walking along the seashore. The man asked, “What do you want?” “We are hungry and we need food,” the boy responded. “Don’t worry,” said the man. “Tomorrow I will send to you two men with food.” That evening, the family heard a knock on the door. “There you are,” answered the Father. “We have been expecting you. We have waited all day. Please, come in.” The two Christian men at the door were from a food-delivery ministry who were led to this home by God, who directed them to rearrange their schedule to visit this home. In their time together, the men led the family to Christ.
A severely abused woman had fled her home to escape her husband. She was living on the street. A non-believing friend told her, “You need to go to a Christian church with me, because I think only Christians can help you.” They went together and were treated so lovingly and respectfully that they wanted to know more about the God their hosts served. They were told about Jesus and put their faith in Christ.
The Church is alive and thriving in the Middle East, but believers face persecution and daily hardships. They need our continual partnership in prayer; this is their most urgent request. Even in the face of these challenges, however, they want us to know about the God they are experiencing: the God of power, the God of miracles, the God of Love.
He is their new everything.