Scripture booklets needed in Europe BY JULIE BOURDON Europe (MNN) — As violence in the Middle East rages on, refugees are flooding into Europe.
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press says that Christians in Western Europe want to help. And so, they’ve shared the one thing that is most precious to them: the Gospel. Many of them have asked for assistance.
“World Missionary Press provides Scripture in many different languages. Even if you don’t know how to speak your neighbor’s language, you can deliver a wonderful message. (Photo courtesy of World Missionary Press).scripture booklets that are designed to introduce people to the one true God, the message of salvation, and then bring them to a decision.”
Williams says explaining that the requests for scripture booklets in Europe have been immense. Many of these refugees have not previously been exposed to the Gospel. Their presence in Europe is an exciting opportunity.
“We hear politically that it’s a difficult situation—and it is—for the countries in Europe, and yet it’s an open door for the Gospel,” Williams says.
Stories from the field:
In Germany, a team of Christians were waiting for Syrian Muslims to arrive.
“When they got to Munich, someone introduced them to the Scriptures and to the Gospel and ten of them were born again. And these ten have gathered together to reach out to the rest of the Muslims that are coming through.”
The Christians who got to witness this wanted to emphasize their amazement at God’s power in changing hearts. So now, as hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are living in Germany, the team wants to reach all of them. Scripture booklets could expedite this process. World Missionary Press is working on getting them scripture booklets in Arabic and any other languages they may need.
Williams explains that when refugees get off the train in Helsinki, Christians are usually waiting for them. In many cases, when they go to give them a booklet that shares the Gospel, refugees will show them they’ve already received one. This means on the road between Syria and Finland, Christians have been considerate of their need for the Gospel.
World Missionary Press also received a letter from a woman in Sweden. A woman was asking for more booklets. She saw the plight of the refugees around her, and the only thing she knew to do was to share with them her greatest hope in Jesus Christ.
Williams explains that the individuals and groups handing out the booklets are simply people who are wanting and willing to give hope, and they’ve taken a look around them to see the need of the refugees. “These people have hungry hearts and they have needy hearts and now’s the time.”
Someone might wonder why, when the refugees have lost everything they have, Christians might choose to give them a booklet of scripture. “I think a lot of it comes from their own experience with the Lord,” Williams says. God was their comfort in their own time of pain and loss, and so that is what they want to give to these people who seem so hopeless. “Many of these people are offering the scripture booklets along with food and water and blankets and shoes,” Williams says.
Scripture Booklets in your own neighborhood
The situation in Europe is not unique in that there are people all around us every day who for one reason or another have not heard the Gospel. Some communities may stick to themselves, having come from one country. There could be language barriers that have kept others from reaching out to them.
“I think if people have open eyes, they’ll find that there are people all over who would love to have the Word in their language, and they never have totally understood it, never been reached,” says Williams. There are opportunities at your own front door. So, look around you. You never know who has or has not heard about the hope found in Jesus. If you find a group in need, contact World Missionary Press for resources.
You can be a part of what is happening in Europe by assisting World Missionary Press. They currently have requests for around 72 million pieces of literature. They’re working on new languages, connecting with new distributors, desiring to get the Gospel into more heart languages. To help, click here.
Williams says their greatest need is for prayer—for their mission, for the people that are reaching out, and for the people that are being reached. When refugees flee to other countries, they usually have nothing.
“What they’ve lost is what this world has. Their possessions— maybe they’ve lost family as well— but they’ve lost their place in society, many of them, they’ve lost the homeland.“ Some of these things are not replaceable. Much of the trauma will affect them forever. So merely meeting their physical needs, while necessary, is not enough.
“That’s what the Word of God does—it offers hope that is outside of this world, that cannot be taken away.”
PUBLISHED ON 30 MARCH, 2017 BY JULIE BOURDON
International (MNN) — In the iconic 1950s film “The Sound of Music”, Maria von Trapp’s character realizes her plans for her life were not going to work. To console herself, she says, “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” This sentiment perfectly captures the changing environment of the mission field. Gospel-sharing opportunities aren’t ending; they just shift from place-to-place.
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press is constantly in contact with distributors of their Scripture booklets all around the world. She says some doors are closing for ministry, and others are opening. What either situation has in common is this: The demand for Scripture booklets is great.
She says, “There are places, particularly in Pakistan and India, where there is a tightening of things and time is short. And most of our major distributors are well aware of this and they are pressing the urgency.” In these areas, Christians must take great care in what they say and how they conduct themselves around their neighbors. In Pakistan, the anti-blasphemy law has become an easy way to punish religious minorities. Even so, there are workers on the ground who refuse to give up.
“They’ve been threatened and they’ve been told, ‘You can’t do this.’ They’ve been attacked — and yet, they’re saying, “Just pray for us, that we’ll be bold, that we’ll be wise. We’re going to continue to do the work, we’re going to continue to share the Gospel.’” In parts of India, there is a growing intolerance towards anyone who would become a Christian.
“We are seeing more and more anti-conversion laws being proposed in India. We are doing everything we possibly can in India right now because we are hearing there that it’s getting more and more difficult,” Williams says.
One of their contacts in India has ordered 20 million booklets which will be used in just the next few months as they pass them out to a number of villages. While some organizations are focusing on leadership training in light of the closing doors, World Missionary Press is working to resource these leaders while they still can.
And while time may be limited in these areas, people from other parts of the world have a chance to hear the Gospel for the first time. Williams explains, “There are also other places where things are opening up. The refugee situation in Europe — we are getting so many requests from Sweden, and Norway, and Finland where people have migrated all the way up there.”
One contact from Helsinki told Williams that it was as if all the nations had come to Finland. Many of the refugees are coming from countries closed to mission work and evangelism. In addition to Europe, shipments of the Arabic New Testament are heading to the Middle East to be shared with families displaced by war and violence.
Whether the door of opportunity is opening or closing, Williams says it’s like there is a recommitment from their distributors to reach as many people as they can with the hope of the Gospel.
“The Word of God is not bound in any way, and we just want to be on the front lines providing material for those who are willing to go.”
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