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We have been back in the States for 4 months now, and the conversations still keep the memories alive. I have enjoyed talking with friends and strangers alike about our experiences in Jordan and Lebanon. One such recent conversation was encouraging. I spoke with a good friend “Jon” who has been involved in missions and ministry for years. He said to me, “Your stories challenged my Christian worldview.” I asked how, and he replied that his perspective was that the Muslim people have always been the enemy of God's people, persecuting them, and even today we see the horrible things the Muslims are doing. But after hearing about the trip to the Middle East and hearing the stories of the Muslim people who are kind, honorable and welcoming to us Christians, it changed how he thought of the Muslim people.
This is the truth we experienced in the Middle East. We were welcomed into their homes, sat with the families and listened to their stories. They are refugees. They have run from their homeland because of war and now find that anywhere they go they are not allowed to work. This is the hopelessness they face every day. It’s not because they don’t want to work, but because there are so many refugees and the job market gets flooded with workers. There are only so many jobs available, and now there are literally 1000 people applying for a given job. This has driven wages down. The local government wants to keep the jobs for the locals, so they outlaw working for the incoming refugees.
What would you do if you were not allowed to work? Not allowed to volunteer or allowed to trade? Anything that could be considered work is illegal for the refugees. When they hear jobs are available in Europe, the men leave their families with relatives and head north in hopes of finding work and then sending for their families in a year. Could you leave your family for a year in hopes of finding work? How long would you last without any income?
These questions are the daily reality of the Syrian Refugees and why they call it a crisis. I have seen this with my own eyes, and I testify that the situation is hopeless for the Syrian people. The only hope that can come is from knowing the true Jesus. We get to talk with the Syrians and open “The Book of Jesus” as instructed in their Koran. Then we get to share who Jesus was and who He is. This is an incredible opportunity to talk to Muslim Syrians in their own home about the Jesus of the Bible.
Interested in joining us in Lebanon this winter? Fill out an Exposure Trip application and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.