There were 68.5 million people worldwide who left their homes to escape extreme danger and prejudice in 2017. A refugee is a person who fears that they will be persecuted in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. Even after fleeing their own countries, many refugees are displaced with no place to go. Refugees try to find a new normal for their families while they settle into camps, often times just hoping to survive.
It is a life that most of us could never imagine, but a reality for 65 million. When Farhan found himself fleeing from Syria to Germany with his family, he began a journey to not only find physical freedom, but spiritual freedom as well. Farhan was no stranger to faith, having ministered for years. He was a gifted man, having earned certificates and degrees as a pastor. After becoming a refugee, Farhan attended a conference where he studied the word under Precept’s Bible Study Leaders.
“At first I thought all of this coloring and way of studying was childish. I told God that I am a man with many degrees, I don’t need to color in the Bible like a little kid. But God spoke to my heart and told me I had always studied around the Word, but I had not been reading His word for myself.” Farhan told us, “I was blinded by my pride and my accomplishments. When I finally started studying God’s Word, it was like I was feasting at a banquet for the first time. I could not get enough, I was so hungry for more.”
Farhan was transformed and started training to become a Precept Bible Study Leader. His situation did not instantly become an easier, in fact, the dangers of being a minister persisted. On top of everything, his wife was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Instead of being afraid, Farhan and his family ministered bravely, with unceasing hope, working with the German government to host Precept studies for refugees at local churches.
“People were so hungry for God’s word.” Farhan said, “They would come to the studies about marriage because being a refugee is so hard on families. I would begin to tell teach them about unconditional love and at first everyone would be quiet. When one person would speak up, they would say ‘How is this possible?’ and everyone would continue to ask me questions for hours. They had never heard anything like it.”
Farhan’s study groups are exploding because of the opportunity to finally learn and discover God’s truth for themselves. Farhan said, “People I once knew would kill me are now so hungry for God’s truth and coming to study with me.” There are so many opportunities to give life, Farhan knows it is important for him to continue making disciples so that truth can spread in the refugee community.
How can you help disciple refugees?
“Pray that we will have the strength to raise up new leaders,” Farhan said. There is such a high demand and hunger that rest doesn’t feel like an option. In all the excitement and growth, God continues to open doors. Be in prayer that new leaders will rise in the refugee communities to help fulfill God’s will for their lives. Pray for their protection and that their physical needs will be met.