How easy it is to say, “God is in control!” But do we really believe this? In precarious and quite often frightening times, do we see this? And do we see that, in times like these, that in reality, as “God is in control”, He presents us with great opportunities to live the Great Commission, opportunities we have never had before? The following article has been written by Bill McDonough, a minister at the WindSong Church of Christ in Little Rock, AR. He has just returned from Europe and in this article, he presents a different view about the current upheavals and raises thoughts that may help us to see God’s plans in these historic events and the part we are to play in them. Could this be a test for us about our seriousness and devotion to the only true, eternal and even jealous God?
Refugees Struggling in Europe
Fleeing your country may seem to be your only option when your home and the entire city have been set aflame by bombing and artillery fire. Perhaps the police came to your door, inquiring if you were a believer in Jesus, and when you answered affirmatively, you were told to reject Christ and turn to Islam or you would be shot in the morning, so soon after dusk, you fled for your life.
At a Farsi language Christen meeting in Athens, we listened to a retired University professor from Iran, who was holding a Bible, tell the group he had just arrived in Greece a week ago and was given the Bible “six hours ago and I have not stopped reading it”.
At a meeting of more than 150 refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan who sat eating a meal that had been prepared for them by Christians, a brother told them, “You have been taught that all Christians hate you and they are your enemies, but tonight you have experienced Christian love and hospitality and we welcome you and want to be your friends.” He continued his speech, telling them that Jesus was the Son of God and that He came so they could be blessed with love and eternal life if they choose to follow Him. Following the meeting we were able to visit with many of them who spoke English, French and German, and that evening we helped connect them with brethren in Switzerland. Belgium and Germany were they were going to be resettled. Already several of them had been taught and baptized and were meeting with the church while they were waiting to continue their journey northward to where they will settle.
Last Sunday we met with a refuge congregation in Vienna, Austria, where people who fled their countries with nothing but their lives and often walking for weeks carrying their infants are now meeting together as Christians. Several who were invited by friends were there for the first time. This church is providing weekly meals, Bibles in Arabic and several other languages, and free German language classes to those staying in Austria or going on to Germany.
In Rothenberg, Germany, we met with 120 other Christians from across Europe. In addition to listening to brethren from four nations tell what they were doing to reach refugees, we heard how they have organized a contact network through which those refugees that have been converted and want further contact with the church can be passed along from one church to another as they travel on through Europe to their final destination.
This is the greatest opportunity the church has had in modern history to impact Muslims and the religion of Islam!
Pray, Pray, Pray that we can and will rise to this God given opportunity!