For centuries, empires have fought to control Greece. This strategic land mass bridges Europe and the East, allowing trade to pass to and from Europe.
In 2015, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany openly welcomed refugees from the Middle East who were suffering from war and carnage. What followed was the largest refugee crisis Europe has seen since World War Two. Thousands of refugees began pouring into Europe, accompanied by economic migrants, political asylum seekers and young people wanting to live in the West.
We watched and listened, not knowing what was behind this mass displacement of peoples. What was God doing?
December of 2015, I (undisclosed DNI worker) arrived on Lesvos Island, Greece with a team of volunteers. Our first trip to Moria refugee camp shocked each one of us. It was crisis, a humanitarian disaster. Others from our Anabaptist communities soon joined us in Moria. A new organization was born as we provided humanitarian assistance, loved the suffering, gave hope to the stranger and shared the Gospel with seekers.
It became apparent what God was doing. He was bringing the people to us, many from unreached people groups. As we freely ministered the Word of God, we began to see amazing results. Hundreds of Bibles were given away in many languages. Bible study groups started, accompanied by dramatic conversions, miracles and baptisms. Disciples began to work right alongside volunteers, aiding and assisting the spread of the Gospel. Victims of sex- trafficking were identified and referred to organizations that could provide aftercare.
We recognize now that Greece is a strategic land. It is a gateway to Europe. Greece is a country which the Gospel can dramatically impact Muslim refugees seeking a new life.
In Paul’s preaching to Greeks 2,000 years ago he speaks these amazing words:
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;" Acts 17:26-27
God chooses where people settle and inhabit so they might seek for Him and find Him. God is organizing the refugee crisis so that seekers will find the truth. He is calling His people to find the seekers and to share with them the truth of the Gospel, already knowing that many will find Him.
One Anabaptist leader who served on Lesvos commented, “This is the greatest missions opportunity that exists in the Anabaptist churches today.” He said this after personally leading regular Bibles study groups in Farsi, Arabic, and French with requests for Bible studies from Kurds, Nepalis and Urdu speakers as well. I agree with him.
The harvest among Muslim people has never been more ripe. DNI is discussing the possibility of establishing a team in Greece to minister to Muslim refugees. The goal would be to evangelize, make disciples and plant churches among refugee communities in Greece and other European countries.