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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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September 22, 2022
Muslim extremists often appear in refugee camps, and word spreads that native missionaries bringing aid to the tents pray with refugees and leave Bibles for them. So workers were concerned when a grim-faced refugee camp leader summoned them to talk over tea. “Last week while distributing things to the children, you were praying, and you gave some people copies of the Bible,” he told them.
September 15, 2022
Kimbap was on her way home from work in Cambodia last summer when she saw a gang of teenage boys assaulting a younger boy. Though a lifelong Buddhist, Kimbap had been listening to a Christian radio program for several days, and when he screamed for help, she instinctively began praying to Christ. “I had very little belief that He was there for real to help this boy, because I am a Buddhist worshiper,” Kimbap said.
September 8, 2022
Burma’s internal military conflicts have curtailed ministry efforts, but the chaos also has helped expand God’s kingdom as displaced people take refuge at a Bible college and Christian camps. Among those fleeing to the jungles or to neighboring countries are young people, a native ministry leader said. “Many young people, however, remain in the country and do not know what to do with their lives,” he said. “Some young people run to Bible colleges and Christian camps.”
September 1, 2022
A ministry leader in North Africa arrived at the home of dying woman to say farewell, pray for her and, at her parents’ request, baptize her. Only after he arrived did he realize she had often attended his church, then mysteriously stopped. “She was aware that she had a few days left before she would die and had no hope for healing,” he said. “Although we didn’t know anything about the medical reports of her illness and what it was, I had a feeling that this could be an evil spirit.”
August 25, 2022
A young Iraqi girl’s grandfather died when a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) militant rammed the car carrying him. Sara later learned from a teacher at a native ministry’s school in Jordan that God loved her and her family, so she thought He must be different from the divine being her parents blamed for the loss of her grandfather. One day she was deeply missing her grandfather and crying at school, and the teacher noticed that she seemed frightened as well as sad.
August 18, 2022
A native ministry leader in Liberia and team members at times walk five to seven hours daily through jungles to bring the gospel to the lost. They must rely on God to protect them against wild beasts or hostile followers of tribal religion. “Idol worshippers sometimes threaten us, saying that if we don’t leave their village, they will kill us,” he said.
August 11, 2022
Seeking to reunite with his brother in London, a 16-year-old Bedouin shepherd boy from the Middle East was growing frustrated with questions local missionaries were posing to him. The boy started crying when they asked him to sign an application form for asylum. “He had never gone to school and didn’t know how to read or write,” one of the leaders of the ministry said. “He started crying when our interpreter explained to him what a signature meant.”
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?”
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