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  • Writer's pictureLarry Neville

Sometimes our Hearts need to be broken with grief . . .

How can our hearts not break when we see an image or hear of such a tragedy as the drowning of young Aylan Kurdi and his brother and mother as the family was fleeing for their lives.  

100’s of Thousands of people are fleeing into Europe at the risk of their lives. 

This morning I read the news again about little Aylan Kurdi and the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into Europe from Syria and other nations suffering from the Middle East Crisis. I must pause and pray. At this moment I feel burdened and brokenhearted for these desperate people whom God loves.  

This is perhaps the largest mass migration of people into Europe in a century.

This will probably be a short-term phenomena because the European nations will do something to curb this mass migration. In one view this migration of Muslim people into Europe will change the face and perhaps major religion of Europe within 20 or so years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said, “the ‘breathtaking’ flow of migrants into German will ‘occupy and change’ the country in the coming years” (BBC News Sept 7).

The BBC News wrote that Germany may be accepting so many refugees  partly because the German population is shrinking because of low birth rates among the native German population so they will not have enough young workers to sustain the entitlements that the German population will receive as they get older. So along with the humanitarian help there are political and long-term economical motives in this also since this migration includes hundreds of thousands of new young potential workers in the country.

Perhaps also the challenge that Chancellor Merkel was referring to when she said, “will occupy and change the country” will happen in German and other parts of Europe as the population of their nations change especially with the growth of the Muslim religion.

Nothing has the potential of spreading the Muslim religion into Europe like this mass movement of common people.

In the Bible in the Book of Acts it was persecution that caused the scattering of the first followers of Jesus Christ all over the near-by nations. As a result, the gospel message spread with them (Acts 8:3-4).

This mass migration of Muslim migrants into Europe also posses a great opportunity for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is an opportunity for the church (not only in Europe but around the world)  to show these people the love of Christ through helping them and opening their doors and hearts to them. Nothing shows people the true heart and message of Christianity like love and caring for them in their time of crisis. These people are suffering. They have been hurt and run from their homes by people of their own religion. They are in need. What an opportunity to reach out to them and to help them.

The European Migrants a Crisis or an Opportunity?

Today, I  don’t know how we can help, but that does not mean that we should not pray and seek to find ways we can help. Twelve years ago we had no idea how we could do anything to help the Kurdistan people during the war in Iraq. God opened a small of opportunity for our representative Jack Harris to go into Iraq and little by little allowed us to help people who were suffering as a result of war and crisis. Today that work is ongoing and helping thousands of people every day.

I ask you to join with me today to:

  1. Pray for these refugees and migrants fleeing for their lives and going into Europe.

  2. Pray that the Church and Christ Followers in Europe will open their hearts and hospitality to these suffering people.

  3. Pray that God will open ways that we can also help them and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them through showing His love. 

I am reminded of what General Douglas McArthur said as he was working to help restore Japan after the devastation of WWII,  “Send 1,000 missionaries to Japan as soon as possible.  Japan is a spiritual vacuum.” I think the same challenge can be said today about Europe. 

Larry Neville President Praise Chapel International


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