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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Founded in 1953, Christian Aid Mission seeks to establish a witness for Christ in every nation by assisting indigenous ministries based in areas of poverty and persecution, giving priority to ministries sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with unreached people groups. Today, we work with hundreds of indigenous ministries in eight regions of the world that share the gospel with more than 1,700 unreached people groups.