Serving the Refugees
Refugees risk both their lives and
their futures for one thing: HOPE.
You can help the Church be there for these families in their time of greatest need by providing food, training and other basic items to help them get back on their feet. Through these relief efforts refugees will hear the Gospel and experience the love of God through the arms of the local church.
There are thousands of Iranian and Afghan refugees in Serbia who are in desperate need of clean water, food, clothing, and medical assistance. Discipleship for Iran mission team is raising funds for a couple of mission trips which are scheduled for 2019 to go there and serve these refugees. Please donate today and help us not only serve them but also share the Gospel with them. They need hope! They want a brighter future! We can do this together!
Serbia is a landlocked country in South East Europe with a population of about 7 million. It’s capital, Belgrade holds a population of about 1.2 million.
This country is currently facing an extreme refugee crisis.
About 150 refugees enter Serbia every single day. Alarmingly over half are unaccompanied minors. Women and small children also make up a large percentage of these refugees.
These refugees intend on settling in Europe. Because refugees are no longer able to access Serbia by sea, they are forced to make the journey through Turkey. However, a decision in March 2016 to end irregular migration from Turkey into the European Union closed the migration route through the Western Balkans, making Serbia the last country available before entering the EU.
On the journey, refugees face physical and sexual abuse as well as freezing temperatures with no warmth or shelter. The only warmth that many of these refugees have is a small fire kept alive with chunks of plastic, creating fumes that lead to respiratory infections.
Because of this refugee crisis, eighteen refugee camps have been stationed throughout Serbia. In each of these camps, there are anywhere between 200-2,000 Iranians.
These Iranians made the decision to flee their homeland to embark on a journey that is described as torturous. They risk both their lives and their futures for one thing: hope.
Last year, when pastor Firouz heard that there were tens of thousands of Iranian refugees in Serbia, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
He went to Serbia with two main goals: to feed the refugees and to share Christ.
Despite the various challenges that came with ministering in a foreign country, Pastor Firouz and the Discipleship for Iran team were able to register a new platform for this ministry called Hope for Heaven.
Through this ministry, the Lord miraculously paved the way for five Iranian churches to be planted. These Iranians meet in rooms that existing churches rent out.
In addition to paying rent, Discipleship for Iran helps to financially support the pastors of the host churches. Our Greatest challenge is being able to provide enough food for the ever-growing number of people attending the services. We hired two women to help feed the refugees, however, as the numbers increase, we will need to expand this team.
For this new ministry, Pastor Firouz travels to Serbia every three months. In his absence, his ministry partner teaches and disciples the new believers. Our goal is for these believers to have strong, personal relationships with God and for these churches to operate independently. If you have a heart to support this ministry and partner with what The Lord is doing in Serbia, please visit the homepage of our website. God bless you!
One hope. one refuge.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore. -Psalm 125:2
Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
For this month’s update we will first take a look at the work that has been done through the “Hope for Heaven” ministry that the Persian Church of Calvary Chapel began. It has been a few months now since they started this ministry in Serbia and we pray that by the grace of God this ministry will continue to produce fruit among Farsi speakers.
Helping The Community
As you have probably seen on the news, the government of Serbia, in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees worked to establish camps that would care for the refugees. Through this effort they were at least able to establish camps that provide for the basic needs of the refugees.
For most of these refugees, Serbia is not necessarily their final destination but rather a stepping stone to their true goal: western Europe. Therefore, every year as the weather gets warmer, many refugees attempt to find ways to cross the borders into western Europe, or as they call it, “playing the game.” It is difficult to find an exact statistic or percentage on how successful they have been in crossing over. However, it is clear that their attempts to cross the border directly affects how many people attend church services and participate in Christian activities.
Despite the increasingly strict border control, waves of refugees continue to come and take the place of those who have left.