“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” – Matthew 25:35
Unprecedented numbers of refugees fleeing war in Syria and other countries are seeking safety and a better life in Europe. I want to update you on some of the ways Alongside Ministries has begun responding, and ask your continued prayer and partnership.
In Albania teams from the church and the Bible School in Erseke have begun to make regular trips to nearby Greece to serve those in refugee camps, especially children. Alongsider Mark Stoscher describes great joy among the Albanian believers as they share the love of Christ in word and deed. A simple soccer game opens hearts to God’s love.
The Czech Republic is one of the most secularized cultures in the world. Despite being small and marginalized, the Czech church is taking the posture of a servant by working with the government to welcome and resettle 34 Iraqi and Syrian Christian refugee families. Alongsider Andrew Funka recently published an article on the Evangelical Focus website describing how God’s people are living as salt and light by extending hospitality.
In France, Alongsiders James and Cheryl Cloyd, and also Matt and Katie Riley, faithfully “do the work of an evangelist” among secularized French people. At the same time, they seek to teach and equip the body of Christ to reject the temptation to respond in fear, and instead respond in the spirit of love, power and self-discipline which God gives to those who believe and follow Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 1:7).
In the midst of this crisis there are encouraging stories of Muslim refugees coming to faith in Jesus Christ, and seeking baptism. A pastor in Germany told me he was initially skeptical, but over months has come to see genuine hunger and thirst for the Bread of Life and Living Water. Perhaps this is part of God’s plan to bring about the renewal of the European Church!
Would you pray for a tremendous wave of evangelism and discipleship across Europe? And would you make a gift to support and grow Alongside Ministries’ engagement there? We can take courage from Jesus’ promise:
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it!
Dave Pierson, Executive Director