Missions Insider

Exclusive stories from the mission field

September 10, 2020
Local missionaries gave out food and medicines and prayed with victims immediately after the Aug. 4 explosion in the bustling Gemmayzeh neighborhood of the port of Beirut that killed at least 180 people and injured more than 6,000. Tens of thousands of people were injured or lost homes and loved ones, and the effects of the blast are expected to be felt for months, if not years. “Before the explosion, the people had nothing,” the leader of a native ministry said. “Now they have less than nothing.”
August 20, 2020
The refugee family of a disabled young girl was unable to bring her wheelchair to Turkey when they fled Syria, forcing her to crawl on the ground, but her grandfather refused to let local missionaries help. Other refugees had told her family that there were people from a church who could help, but when her grandfather heard it, his face was flushed with anger. “They never help anyone without expecting something in return,” he said. “Don’t begin any type of relationship with them, because they are going to want something from you.”
July 9, 2020
A sheikh in a Middle Eastern country sent his nephew to a native ministry’s church to compile a list of names of everyone who attended worship services. Such a list would be helpful for learning the names of Muslims who might be attending Christian services, names of Christians who were formerly Muslims and names of Christians who might be trying to convert Muslims. Once known, these people could then be pressured to cease and desist their activities.
July 2, 2020
Local missionaries delivering aid to refugees in Turkey had never seen an elderly Muslim woman look anything but sullen, so they were curious when they saw her laugh as she talked with a group of Syrians in a tent camp. The Christian workers asked her, “What happened? What did they say that has made you laugh?” She told them, “They said, ‘You are always speaking so highly of these Christians, and you’re even visiting all the tents with them – what’s happened, have you become a Christian now?’”
May 14, 2020
The sound of refugees clamoring over the arrival of a truck was the signal for a hungry family to come out of their tent for critical aid. Amid the coronavirus crisis, local missionaries distributing aid had to keep their minds alert even as their hearts ached. “No matter how much we wanted to hug them, we had to maintain the distance between us,” the ministry director said. “I have known them for a long time, but I have never seen them so desperate, because they know how cruel this disease is, and they are very afraid.”
April 23, 2020
Traumatized from violence in northern Iraq, a Muslim woman was weak with an unknown illness after she and her young children took refuge in Jordan. She began attending a women’s Bible study and attending church services, but then she stopped after relatives visited. “She fasted in the month of Ramadan with them, fearing that she would be caught,” the ministry leader said. “She lived in terror of the discovery of her faith and of her participation in church.”
March 5, 2020
Nine months pregnant when ISIS soldiers began going door-to-door in search of opponents and people non-compliant with Islam, an Alawite mother was terrified and immediately fled with her family to another part of Syria. The family made it to a hospital hours away just as Haya went into labor. She gave birth as bombs fell, but soon nurses told her that everyone had to leave the hospital. The exhausted Haya said her temperature was dropping fast, and that she could not move.
February 13, 2020
With the economy in his Middle Eastern country in tatters and his wife leaving him, Mohammad saw no hope for himself or his young daughter. He spent most nights drinking, and his daughter was largely uncared for during the day as well, when he would look for odd jobs. “They were very poor, and when he took out a loan, he spent it on alcohol and other nasty habits,” said a native missionary in Turkey. “Then he came to Turkey as a refugee and decided to repent of these bad habits and return to his Shiite religion.”
January 23, 2020
As Aimar sat in a freezing tent in a makeshift refugee camp in southern Turkey, he recalled how his children had asked him what they had done to displease Allah. Since fleeing his home and farm in Syria under cover of darkness four years ago, he’d worked day and night to keep his family fed, but three days without work had left them without food. “There was no food to eat, and the kids were crying and asking, ‘Father, why is Allah not giving us food? What have we done to him?’”