We received an update on the refugee situation from our regional leader in Eastern Europe this week. There are a lot of great stories of the work God is doing through those who love and trust him even in this difficult situation. We find these two snippets of stories from pastors in European nations of entry moving and encouraging:
"In the beginning of March, my husband and I were in Zagreb for the European pastors conference. One of the workshops was about refugee situation in Europe. Pastors from European nations of entry talked about their experiences assisting refugees with shelter, food, water, and literature.
They spoke of how they rarely know what happens with these people afterward.
This is not a new frustration in working with people in general - we rarely get to see a seed planted grow to fruition. We may plant, we may water, and we may see fruit, but most often in ministry, we do not see the full, beautiful journey of which today is only a moment.
Then one of them said, " What we just heard from you is like one piece of the puzzle. Let me finish this picture. Some time ago I baptized 50 refugees from Syria. They came to my church and want to know more about God because during their travel everywhere people who helped them were Christians."
Another pastor also shared: " The number of the migrants is growing from week to week in our church. Last Sunday we had more than 150 people. They said the same. When they entered to Turkey, Greece, Serbia, or any of the nations of entry through which they had come, the first people who helped them were Christians. Most of the refugees at our church had come to us because Christians were the first people who helped them when they arrived. This love of the Christians touched them."
This love of Christ, through people willing to be his hands and feet, touched people experiencing an immensely difficult and isolating situation. When it comes to the body of Christ, we are indeed each only a piece of the puzzle. A moment in time, a set of skills, a kind word, a piece of bread for the day - whatever we give to others, we give to Christ himself, as he tells us in Matthew 25:40.
How will you trust Jesus today with the puzzle piece you have been given and step out in faith and in action to show his love to someone?