In Turkey: Refugees Hardened by War 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.

“Who are you?” said the refugee, a schoolteacher in his native Syria.

The Turkish ministry leader realized the refugee believed they would expect something in return for helping them.

“We expect nothing from you, we share your pain,” the ministry leader told him, in fluent Arabic (his second tongue). “We understand that you’re worrying about your kids – you are like us. Our God is telling us to do this, so we’re doing what He said.”

“Our God is telling us to do this, so we’re doing what He said.”

The ministry leader said the refugee told them he had never read in the Koran that Muslims should help people of another religion.

“We never heard that we should help unbelievers,” the refugee told them. “If we had the chance, our priority would be to kill you.”

Wanting to know more about what the Christians believed, the refugee invited the two workers to have some coffee and talk with him.

“We told him, ‘Our Jesus is not the same as yours [in the Koran] – our Jesus has a totally different character,’” the ministry leader said. “I told the man that he could call me anytime, day or night, and then he called in the middle of the night to talk to me about Jesus. He told me not to tell anyone what he was talking to me about, because there were ISIS followers in the camp. He is afraid but still wants to learn more.”

On that occasion and others that followed, they discussed the death, resurrection and salvation of Christ in detail. With such discretion, caution and months of providing blankets, food and other aid, native missionaries become the lifeline for desperate people – and build solid relationships upon which the love of Christ is conveyed.

“Thanks to the help given before, people and families have changed the way we are viewed,” the ministry leader said. “They were more hospitable and opened their hearts to us. This allowed us to communicate better with them, so that even people who had no hope and did not trust anyone learned to forgive, trust and most importantly, love.”

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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission