‘Tragedy upon tragedy in this sad world needing salvation.”
Those are the words of a missionary working in Lyon, France, after a terrorist attack in the seaside city of Nice on Bastille Day, when a Tunisian-born man drove a rented truck into crowds gathered for the evening’s celebrations.
Hours later, the predominantly Muslim nation of Turkey — a gateway to Europe for thousands fleeing conflicts in the Middle East — endured an attempted military coup.
Over the last 3 weeks, Germany has been the target of a number of attacks carries out by asylum seekers there, and just this wee, there was the horrific killing of an elderly Catholic priest in Normandy, France, by two men claiming allegiance to ISIL.
Has the tension and fear across Europe changed the resolve of the Church of Christ members who serve the refugees?
Absolutely not, said Eleni Merlirrytos, a member of the Omonia Church of Christ in Athens, Greece, and the granddaughter of a refugee from Turkey, forced to flee to Greece from the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s.
“On the contrary, as we see the satanic forces attack innocent people, the more committed we feel to flood the world with the message of love and reconciliation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“In times such as these, Christians’ concerns for comfort and safety need to be replaced with the urgency to infect people with the love of God,” said Melirrytos, whose husband, Alexander, ministers for the Omonia church.
Members of the Omonia church have opened their building to refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern nations. They cook meals, conduct English conversational classes and study the Bible with those interested.
“One refugee family told us they were taught that God lives in heaven,” Eleni Melirrytos said in a recent interview with The Christian Chronicle. One member of the family told her that “you have shown us that God lives in our heart — and that has changed everything.”
- Give thanks for Churches across Europe, including the Omonia Church, who are deliberately reaching out to refugees with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for these Churches, for protection as they seek to spread the Gospel, and for encouragement in their work as they see many refugees turning to faith in Christ.
- Pray for more Churches across Europe and other parts of the world to also seek to build bridge of love into the refugee and migrant communities, that these bridges will lead many more to find life, hope and healing through Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Europe in the light of recent terror attacks, for wisdom for governments, for peace on the streets and in the hearts of the people, and an end to ISIL’s influence to do harm.
- Pray that recent terror attacks will not cause a backlash against refugees around the world. Pray rather, that love will conquer evil, and that “what was meant for harm, God will use for good” in building and strengthening His Church across the world.
Genesis 50 vs 20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Source: http://www.christianchronicle.org/article, http://www.persecution.org