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.”
The ministry leader replied, “I’m very sad that you would want to buy a little girl as a slave and take advantage of these poor people who are just trying to survive.”
Most Syrian refugees find it too dangerous to return to Syria or have no homes to return to after the devastation of more than seven years of civil war. While mothers in the refugee camps are grief-stricken that criminals steal and sell their daughters – or desperate fathers offer a “dowry” for child “brides” – the fathers are often demoralized that the girls’ captors don’t make payments, the ministry leader said.
Just as the refugees are aware that it is Muslims who are buying their daughters, they are aware that Christians are the ones who bring them compassionate aid.
Just as the refugees are aware that it is Muslims who are buying their daughters, they are aware that Christians are the ones who bring them compassionate aid such as food and blankets. As the ministry team was sitting with a family during aid distribution recently, a grandmother came into the tent saying in Arabic, “Let the infidels give you bread, let the Muslims steal your girls,” the leader said.
“This lady was actually using the term ‘infidels’ not to belittle Christians, but rather to warn those around us,” he wrote to Christian Aid Mission. “This is proof of how precious and important your prayers and support are. A person who has never in her life read a Bible, never met Christ, never gone to church, is through your prayers and support praising Christians.”
Conversations about Christ’s saving sacrifice readily arise as the workers meet refugees in desperate need. In the middle of a brutal winter, older refugees and children are the first to suffer life-threatening illnesses, he said.
“The older people are in need of vitamins and ointments, such as relief for skin conditions, but for now the most pressing need is for basic food and winter blankets,” the leader said. “The young mothers will invite us in, crying and too ashamed to uncover their faces, to show us where they are staying. Everything is muddy and cold, and there are no blankets.”
Besides blankets, the refugees ask most for baby formula and milk.
“They typically explain that they need to make this formula with milk but are forced to do it with water because of the lack of milk,” the leader said. “Often these families will tell us to just meet the needs of the children. These children often are malnourished and underdeveloped, and the older refugees die quickly.”
On a recent visit, however, he was surprised by another request: “There were people who wanted not only food but would say, ‘Please pray for us! Please pray for us!”
Native missionaries are meeting such needs for compassionate aid throughout the Middle East. Please consider a gift today to bring life-saving aid and the message of eternal life.