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War-Hardened Refugees in Turkey Learn of Love

In his refugee tent in Turkey, a Muslim father of two was talking with native missionaries who had just given him tarps to help keep out the rain. He wanted to know why they were doing it.

The Turkish ministry leader realized the refugee believed they would expect something in return for helping them. He needed to put him at ease.

“Who are you?” said the refugee, a schoolteacher in his native Syria. “We never heard that we should help unbelievers. If we had the chance, our priority would be to kill you.”

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Displaced Muslims in Iraq Struggle to Recover

Five years ago, a Muslim family man in northern Iraq believed Christians were misguided and that Islam was the solution to the world’s problems.

When Islamic State (ISIS) militants took over his town in the Nineveh plains, he rejoiced that Islamic law would finally be implemented.

Within a month, ISIS forces had beaten his sister and mother on the street and killed his brother.

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Muslim Refugees Know Christians by their Fruits

The leader of a native ministry in Turkey was shocked when a wealthy Muslim friend told him he was planning to buy a Syrian refugee girl as a slave. The leader’s friend told him, “In a few weeks I’m going to go down to the camps. I have a wealthy old friend who bought a young Syrian girl and made her his second wife; I was going to go pick one for myself.”

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A Life Condemned to Darkness Finds Light

After shelling in Aleppo, Syria wiped out her entire community, destroying her home and killing relatives outside of her immediate family, Jana lived in depression for five years as a refugee in Lebanon. Jana and her husband had never lacked anything in the life that was shattered in Aleppo, but in Lebanon they struggled to keep their five children fed and clothed. When a friend brought Jana to a prayer meeting at a church established by native missionaries, it did not solve all her problems. But she did gain a new perspective when she gave her life to Christ.

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Displaced Refugees Driven to Remote Wasteland

Some were driven from their tents or slum dwellings by surly Turkish neighbors, some saw the government bulldoze their tents. For one reason or another, the Syrian refugees were no longer welcome in the city in southern Turkey where they had lived for years since fleeing the atrocities of their war-ravaged country.

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Opening Young Hearts to Know Jesus in Turkey

When the director of an indigenous Christian ministry in Turkey was a small boy, his Muslim family used to watch the television show, “Little House on the Prairie.” “They were so kind to one another, and spoke so nicely about one another, that my mother once said, ‘Look how nice these infidels are to one another,'” he said.

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August 4, 2022
In a country in the Middle East, a young Muslim man recently passed by a local ministry’s church site and picked up a New Testament from the stack outside. “He took it home, secretly read from it and hid it, because he feared what his family might do to him,” the ministry leader said. The 22-year-old Muslim had no idea his older brother was also secretly exploring Christianity.
July 28, 2022
A young mother in Africa had gone to a series of traditional healers, each with their fetishes and incantations to tribal gods, in a desperate quest to heal her son. He was 3 years old and had never been able to walk. She heard about a meeting at a nearby community where villagers studied the Bible. In her sub-Saharan country unidentified due to local opposition to the gospel, both the healing and the deaths of children recently moved parents to seek Christ.
July 21, 2022
Heba was rescued before she could end her life, condemning the 32-year-old mother in northern Africa to continue in a misery whose sources she did not fully understand. An affair with a younger man blunted the pain at times but soon compounded it, further toxifying problems with her husband. “I was living a miserable life filled with sadness, failure and problems,” she said.
July 14, 2022
An 11-year-old boy in Mexico had trouble socializing, and his father was addicted to drugs, so local missionaries seeking to help him had persuaded his mother to let him live at their educational center living quarters. Workers noticed some alarming drawings in his notebook. The sketches made it clear the boy was suicidal.
July 7, 2022
A refugee from Syria told local missionaries in Iraq that he had dreamt of a group of Christians visiting his house and telling him pleasant things that he could not now recall. He said he was a Muslim officer in the Syrian army who had fled when enemy soldiers occupied his home. “I remember when I woke up, I had a wonderful peace and joy that I had never experienced before,” he told them. “Can you visit us at home?”
June 30, 2022
A Syrian widow with several children had endured affliction before and after arriving as a refugee in Jordan. Islamic State (ISIS) invaders in Syria had seized her oldest son and, fearing they might take her other children, she and her husband had fled in 2013. Some of her children were able to help her husband in odd jobs he might find on the streets – until he was diagnosed with cancer.
June 23, 2022
A series of murders of children and young women prompted a three-day prayer event in a town in western Kenya. Church members and community leaders were praying for safety when a young man burst in and confessed to raping and killing six young women. The local missionaries and other leaders prayed for deliverance and salvation as the man’s anguished cries drew more people to the meeting tent – including some bent on lynching him and burning his body.
June 16, 2022
Accompanied by police and soldiers, a district official in Laos told Christians in a tribal village that those who refused to renounce Christ would be imprisoned. He was angry that they had refused to heed a prior warning to quit worshiping Christ. “Christianity is a western religion – it cannot be practiced in our country,” he told them. “I will give you one more chance to renounce Christ. If anyone still wants to believe in God, then just raise your hand.”
June 9, 2022
A shaman in Indonesia had quit his life as a robber and drug seller five years ago, but he still had no peace. Deeply troubled, he invited a worker and others from the ministry to his house to talk with him and his family about Christ. When the local missionaries showed up, they found 40 people at the house.
June 2, 2022
A young man in Iraq, Sami, and his father were descended from multiple generations of historic Christians, but during occupation by Islamist militants they had been forcibly converted to Islam. Such converts have trouble showing loyalty to a new caliphate, often refusing to join the fight to establish and expand it. Both men were subjected to torture; Sami told native missionaries in Europe that his father died trying to save him from the militants.
May 26, 2022
Amid conditions that seem to grow more apocalyptic every day, local missionaries in Latin America need either super-human stamina or otherworldly faith. A worker in Bolivia needed true grit to continue reaching out to a young man whose drunken rages had driven his family away. “Every time Pablo got drunk, he went home and hit his wife and children,” the leader of the native ministry said.
May 19, 2022
Local missionaries in Europe are counseling and praying with refugees from Ukraine traumatized by the invasion of their homeland. Besides needing food and other aid, many refugees have suffered the shocks of bombing and artillery fire since Russia invaded in late February. “Pray for their mothers and grandmothers who suffer because they have lost their loved ones, or have their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters or fathers in the war,” the leader of a local ministry said.
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