*Names have been edited or changed for security purposes
Two weeks ago, I returned to Germany for the first time in two years with a team from Grace City and Memphis Anglican Churches. We went to work with Living Hope member DW and his “Church on the Road” team. Their mission is to start and multiply churches within the refugee population in Germany. And that is exactly what God is doing through them. They currently train the refugee leadership of new churches in at least 22 different cities around Frankfurt. This is quite a task for the small team they have and is astonishing to see it accomplished.
On our first day, they split our small, five-person team into three groups and sent us out to different “random” refugee camps with a member of their team. The camp they sent Jamie Merilien (Grace City Worship Pastor) and I to was the same camp that I spent five days in two years ago. This happened despite the Frankfurt team not remembering anyone going to this camp before this summer. As soon as I saw the same building, I knew that God had a plan for our time there, and I want to briefly tell you a story from our time…
On our first day at the camp, we met a man named H. He is a member of the Pashtun people of Afghanistan and speaks little English. H is from Kabul, where his wife and daughter were killed tragically in a missile attack just before he fled the country. Despite this sad past, we could see something different about H as compared to the other Afghan refugees at this camp. He has a joy, a large smile, tea, and delicious chocolates to share with us. However, because of his lack of English, every time we asked a question he would talk again about his sad past, so we were not able to move the conversation out of sadness.
During our conversations, H was also scared. Scared of the other Pashto Afghans who were skeptical of H speaking to Americans. Scared that if they knew we were coming as ambassadors of Christ, they would hurt him for even talking to us. So, in our time with H, we had no time alone with him to walk through the Gospel, no time to share our testimony, only time to let him know that God loves him, and that God sent us to Germany just to tell him that.
Then on our third day, while we were speaking to other refugees at the camp, H came up to two of the guys from the Church on the Road team and told them that he had been speaking with us the past two days. H told them that many Christians had come to see him, but they always told him that he had to do so many things. He continued that when these Americans came and all they said was “God loves you” it made him go back to his room that night, watch the Jesus film three times, and accept Christ. H will now be a part of a brand new church that is starting for his refugee camp and will have 20-30 new brothers and sisters who we cannot wait to go back and join in worship!
I wish I had the space to tell more about H, many more stories, but I believe that you would see a common theme. That theme is that God is working among the refugees of Germany. He is calling home his people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. However, if you would like to hear more stories or hear of ways that you can go, pray, or support the team in Frankfurt, please email me (email@example.com) or Jamie (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to share more!
Written by Brandon Brown, Pastor – Grace City Church