God is reaching refugees out of the Middle East through dreams of his Son and through the outreaches of World Challenge’s partners.
It was not an easy year for ministries and individuals in Turkey and Greece as the countries were impacted by the pandemic and long lockdown periods.
One of our partners who works with Kurdish refugees coming out of the conflicts in the Middle East became painfully ill in April and May, finally undergoing an operation to cure the issue. Their recovery was slowed, however, when they contracted COVID-19 barely three months later.
Despite the pandemic and political storms alongside personal sickness, God was still moving and revealing himself in miraculous ways, not only through the eventual healing of our partner but also through the redemption of several refugees with whom our team works in Turkey. As they shared, “Praise the Lord that we can share the great things the Lord had done during the year!”
The Power of Baptism and Witnesses
Seeing the fruit of ministry, Bible studies and home visitations brought our teams great joy in the middle of a tough year riddled with the pandemic, lockdowns for several months and the loss of jobs.
Late in September, seven members of the church came forward and said that they wanted to be baptized before their community. Our partners reported, “When we see seven believers decide to follow the Lord in baptism after such a tough year, we certainly glorified the Lord for his mercy that surrounded the lives of those who ran away from death to see the light, in a Muslim country and during the pandemic.”
Aheng* is a Kurdish-Syrian elder who led the way; she wore her traditional black dress as she stepped into the water before the gathered church. When the leaders asked her before her baptism, “Who is Jesus for you?” she answered, “He is my everything. He is my Lord and Savior.”
To describe the delight of witnessing such a moment, the rejoicing in the Spirit, is almost impossible. After Aheng was baptized, another women stepped into the pool. Her story has been a great testimony to the church there.
Meeting the Son and Savior
Gulistan* saw the Lord in dreams several times. She once saw him giving her a cross and another time giving her a Bible and starting to teach her. The dreams were just strange, as far as she was concerned, though; she didn’t really care about them.
When her brother-in-law accepted the Lord, however, she started to have discussions with him where the two of them compared Islam and Christianity. She had been well-schooled in the Koran, so she was increasingly surprised as her brother-in-law brought up passages that she’d never really noticed before but now realized didn’t make sense. She started to research these passages and verses in the Bible. Rather than settling her mind, this research made her more and more uncertain.
Finally, one night before going to bed, she shouted, “God, show me the right way!”
That night, she saw Jesus again in a dream, drawing close to her. He told her, “I am He!” She woke up and immediately prayed to accept Christ as her Savior and God, then she went to the church and testified that she wished to be baptized.
Gulistan is witnessing to her husband and her family, so our partners asked that we join them in prayer for Christ to reveal himself to her family, in addition to many more Kurdish refugees who are still considering the faith. As they have said in their reports, God is good. He will show all those who seek him the truth and the way.