I could hardly believe it. There is was right in front of me. A large banner fastened onto the railing of an office building. The banner read: “The Persian Church of Calvary Chapel: God is love, draw near unto Him.”
My Pastor turned to me and said: “no one can believe that all of this happened in a month.”
To be honest I can’t believe it either, but that’s how you know it’s God’s doing. We had planted a church in Belgrade.
We went upstairs to our room to prepare for the meeting. We set up water for the refugees and began plan out how we would conduct the service. Our plan was to hold a church service and feed them.
As we waited for their bus to arrive, some local missionaries came to visit our facility and exchange information about the ministries taking place among the refugees. One brother shared his testimony of how he started his work in Serbia and how God had used them to create connections among the camps. The other brother also shared about how God had used him and his wife to teach English and crafts to the refugees as a platform to share the Gospel.
It was such a blessing to hear about the work being done in Serbia, but it was clear that they lacked laborers. They expressed their need for Farsi speakers who understood the culture and language in order to effectively reach and disciple believers. The Iranian couple that we are currently staying with in Serbia are part of a very small handful of Farsi speaking laborers here.
After our meeting the refugees had arrived. There were about eleven adults and six children along with one newborn baby.
We immediately separated the children so that they wouldn’t cause a distraction to the service. One of the sisters took them outside to play while Pastor Firouz began the service.
He started by giving them the message of the Gospel and sharing some truths from the Word of God. Then came the questions. It seemed that many in the room were confusing Christianity with other false ideologies. Some struggled with ideas of pluralism and even reincarnation. However, there were several in the group that were genuine believers and had a desire to grow in the Word of God.
Meanwhile, the children were being tended to. During this time we had the opportunity to get to know them. It was clear that the refugee camps didn’t give them much freedom to play.
They treasured the time that they could run around and be children, even if it was only for a fleeting moment…
After the service ended we distributed food to the refugees and talked with them before they left. It was heartbreaking to hear their stories of how they ended up in Serbia and what kind of life they lived in the camps.
One lady said to us:
“we don’t control our lives anymore, the camps do.”
This is exactly the case.
Please pray with us that in the name of Jesus false ideologies are torn down and the light of the Gospel will continue to shine among these refugees. Also pray with us that these children will encounter Christ through our ministries and experience His fatherly love.