I work with refugees… and I have the best job in the world. Everyday I get to see refugees encounter Jesus, and be forever changed. I’m reminded of how people often responded to Jesus’ presence in the gospel accounts: they gawked in amazement; they broke into spontaneous worship; they fell down at his feet; they responded with a mix of awe and fear. Growing up in the Church, these responses seemed far-fetched. And yet now, working with Muslim refugees (many Afghans, Iranians, Palestinians, Somalis, and North Africans) these responses to encounters with Jesus seem fitting.
I’m humbled as I think about some of the Jesus-encounters that I witnessed just last week: disregarding all social norms and cultural expectations, an Afghan man boldly leads his family into a living faith in Jesus Christ (and… this man was led to Jesus by another Afghan refugee!); unaware of anything else in the room, a group of young Algerian men stare intently at the television as the Jesus film plays in Arabic; giddy with excitement, an Afghan mother tells of seeing Jesus in a dream – He was reaching out for her, offering His embrace.
God is at work in Athens! As a bridge between Asia and Europe, Greece serves as a unique crossroads for refugees fleeing the war and poverty of their nations. With acts of practical of demonstration (giving food, clothing, and friendship) and relevant proclamation (personal evangelism, small group bible studies), our team’s hope is to see refugee lives transformed by encounters with Jesus.