The Refugee Journey – The Mission Field On Our Doorstep

– first published January 20, 2016
El Campo Misionero en nuestra puerta.

The world is in an Acts 17:26-27 (NIV) moment:

From one man he (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”


Syrian refugees At Jordan clinicJD Payne, in his book Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission*, gives an excellent overview of the migrations throughout history noting that God uses migration whether it is the result of sinful behavior or willful obedience to fulfill salvation history.

“The Sovereign Lord orchestrates the movement of peoples across the globe in order to advance his kingdom for his glory. Whether through believers transferring jobs and finding themselves in new locations or unbelievers moving to cities of refuge where they may first come face-to-face with the message of Jesus, the migrations of peoples do not happen as an afterthought in the heart of God. The church may be oblivious to such workings of the Spirit, but the seasons and times of life are part of the King working out his plan to redeem the peoples of this world from the bondage of the wicked one”. (Payne 2012)

Is God answering fervent prayers for the salvation of Muslims through the Jumaa Prayer Fellowship and other prayer movements over the last 25 years, by giving us an opportunity to meet Muslims face-to-face?


Hospitality’s Key Role in Reaching Muslims*

Here are a few guidelines when you meet a Muslim:

  1. Begin a conversation: man-to-man and woman-to-woman.
  1. Talk about family, culture and God.
  1. Be hospitable and kind.
  1. Politely offer food and drink at least three times.
  1. Behave and dress modestly.

 

Be aware that:

  1. Muslims generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol.
  1. Muslims handle the Quran, their holy book, with respect so we should do so for the Bible as well.
  1. Muslims consider dogs unclean and generally do not keep them in their homes.
  1. Muslims do not touch food or give or receive anything with their left hand, which is used for personal hygiene.

Muslims are generally very hospitable. I have enjoyed many wonderful times visiting in Muslims homes. Many Muslims are curious about how Christians live. Would you consider inviting a Muslim for a meal in your home? A dear friend who lived in Jordan for many years said, “We make it so complicated and really it is easy.” Love opens the door of our hearts and homes. Our hospitality creates a sacred space for faith interactions when we ask Jesus to be part of the conversation.

 

*Payne, J. D. (2012). Strangers next door: immigration, migration, and mission. Downers Grove, Ill., IVP Books.

**For some suggestions on the role of guest and host see “Hospitality’s Key Role in Reaching Muslims” by Donna Krstulovich (Intercede Sept/Oct 2015).

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