The Refugee Journey, Day 3
The Mission Field on Our Doorstep
The world is in an Acts 17:26-27 moment:
“From one man he (God) made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
J. D. Payne in his book, Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission, gives an excellent overview of the migrations throughout history noting that God uses migration, whether it is the result of sinful behavior or willful obedience, to fulfill salvation history:
The Sovereign Lord orchestrates the movement of peoples across the globe in order to advance his kingdom for his glory. Whether through believers transferring jobs and finding themselves in new locations or unbelievers moving to cities of refuge where they may first come face-to-face with the message of Jesus, the migrations of peoples do not happen as an afterthought in the heart of God. The church may be oblivious to such workings of the Spirit, but the seasons and times of life are part of the King working out his plan to redeem the peoples of this world from the bondage of the wicked one (Payne 2012).
Is God answering the fervent prayers of Christians over the last 40 years for the salvation of Muslims through prayer networks such as the
Jumaa Prayer Fellowship, Praying for Muslims by Sheikh Abdullah, 30 Days of Prayer during the month of Ramadan, and the Prayercast prayer videos?
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you meet a refugee family:
Begin a conversation: man-to-man and woman-to-woman.
Talk about family, culture, and God.
Be hospitable and kind.
Politely offer food and drink at least three times, as it is polite for them to refuse your offer three times so as not to cause you expense or inconvenience.
Be aware that:
Modesty is important.
Muslims generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol.
Muslims handle the Quran, their holy book, with respect by keeping it on the highest shelf in the house and not putting it on the floor.
Most Muslims consider dogs unclean and generally do not keep them in their home, so it is good to put pets in another room when Muslim guests come to your home.
Muslims do not touch food or give or receive anything with their left hand, which is used for personal hygiene.
Muslims are generally very hospitable. I have enjoyed wonderful visits in Muslim’s homes in many different countries. Many Muslims are curious about how Christians live. We often hear testimonies from Muslims who have lived in the United States for many years but have never been invited into a Christian’s home and have never heard the gospel. Would you consider inviting a Muslim out for coffee or tea or for a meal in your home? The author of Hebrews writes, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2)
A dear friend who lived in Jordan for many years said, “We make it so complicated and really it is easy.” Love opens the door of our hearts and homes. When Jesus is invited into our conversations, His divine presence creates supernatural sacred space where lives are changed, people are healed, and prayers are answered.
For more suggestions on the role of guest and host see, “Hospitality’s Key Role in Reaching Muslims” Intercede Sept/Oct 2015 by Donna Krstulovich.
Payne, J. D. (2012). Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration, and Mission. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.