Vibrant communities of Jesus followers among immigrants in Germany

OM International | Germany

They used to live in Jordan in order to engage with least-reached societies. Now they’re back in Germany, sharing the gospel with immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. OM workers Elsbeth and Josef* focus on groups, not individuals. They disciple, offer word-centred teaching and always invite people to take the next step in their spiritual journey. They’re seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.

Tens of thousands of people from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan come from villages, cities and regions where there are no Christians at all. Now, they’ve come to Germany as refugees. OM workers meet them at the Xenos café. In personal conversations they get the opportunity to get to know Jesus and His followers.

Recently, Hani** came into the café. He comes from a 100 per cent Shi’itic city in southern Iraq. A Xenos worker offered him an SD card with the audioBible in Arabic. Hani can hardly read, but loves to listen to the New Testament on his phone.

Ahmed** became a believer about a year ago. He comes from a city north of Bagdad. Ahmed always brings fellow refugees from the asylum centre and the language school to the Xenos café. His wish is for them to let go of their prejudices against Christians and get to know Jesus.

“It is often a long and difficult process to get asylum seekers to recognise Jesus as the only way and build trust with other Christians in the community and discipleship group,” shared Elsbeth.

Even though many refugees receive a residence permit in Germany, it takes them a long time to find their way. “The immigrants that we interact with, have gone through a long journey with horrible and frightening experiences,” said Elsbeth. “Because of the war, violence and losses, they’re not so sure any more about the fundaments of their life and faith.”

There are people who get to know the Christian faith by experiencing the love of Christians, who are simply disappointed in Islam or have been looking for the truth for a long time. For these people, the OM team offers ‘Al Massira;: a beginners course in Arabic about the fundaments of the Christian faith. It’s a journey from the prophets of the Old Testament to Jesus the Messiah. After showing interesting videos in the context of the Near East, usually a discussion follows to deepen the content and give participants opportunity to ask questions.

In the group of about ten participants in the Al Massira course run by OM Germany, there is one young man from Iraq, who’s left his parents and six sisters behind in Syria. “He got to know Christ in Syria and found us in his search for fellow Christians,” shared Elsbeth. “He reads the Bible every day and has already taken his first steps in faith with Jesus.” Another participant is a father from Damascus, who was a successful businessman before the war broke out. “He lost everything and is desperate now.”

When the course finishes, the men are divided into small groups to continue their spiritual journey together. “Both the Xenos and Al Massira ministries are in need of prayer,” said Elsbeth. “Please pray with us that the immigrants that we meet will have a personal encounter with the Messiah and become His followers. Jesus is the only one who can give true life.”

*Full name omitted

**Name changed

Published: Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Credit: OM International
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Features take an in-depth look at life and ministry on the mission field. Here you’ll find stories of how God is changing lives through the work of OM, as well as stories describing the joy and challenge of serving God in missions.

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