A happy place

OM International | Serbia

One man’s refugee journey from Sudan to The Netherlands last year took him across the Serbian border at Šid. This man, Mahmood*, has not forgotten God’s presence transforming the atmosphere, in a refreshment tent OM helped to run. Volker of OM Montenegro described the scene, last October:

 “Can you imagine? Bread with jam at midnight; Psalm 23 being translated out loud into Farsi; prayer for a Kurdish Christian; an Iraqi girl singing "Father Jacob" in Arabic; parents dancing for us; volunteers worshiping in front of Afghans and Iraqis, who were getting very excited. If you can picture this, then you know that there is hope in the worst situation—at a dark border in Serbia while just a few volunteers feed hundreds of people. In moments like this you feel and see God’s peace come over suffering people.

It’s amazing to see the difference in the crowd because of the worship music. People are visibly uplifted. For a few minutes it becomes more of a festival than a horror journey. The worship music has had a big impact on other volunteers working here too.”

Mahmood was struck by the atmosphere, and carried the memory of this place with him to The Netherlands. Now, fast-forward to a blog post last month, by Robert Strong* from OM Netherlands:

"We have a walk-in for refugees in our church here in Holland. Every Tuesday my wife and I go there, talking with refugees from mostly Syria but also other places. Earlier this year, a man from Darfur (Sudan) walked in. His name was Mahmood. We had a very good conversation and gave him a Bible. Today Mahmood attended church for the first time. After church, he accepted an invitation to our home.

I asked Mahmood about his journey to the Netherlands, and he described the route he’d taken. A few months ago he had travelled through Šid in Serbia. When I heard that, I showed him a photo of the tent OM is running. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I know that place, here is where the Christians served us coffee and tea and where they sang beautiful songs with us, that was a happy place!’”

'A happy place.' Please pray for Mahmood that his spiritual journey will lead him to Jesus; and for the OM personnel still serving refugees at Šid and other Balkan borders – in a very difficult situation. May God sustain them and use them to touch many lives with His unforgettable presence.

An OM project, called ‘Safe Passage’, focuses on meeting refugees at their initial entry points, providing information as well as water, food and essentials. To give to OM’s relief efforts, or for more information about how to get involved, please contact your local OM office.

Published: Thursday, 28 April 2016
Credit: OM International
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