African Refugees Find New Life After Tragedy

Amadou* fled his native African country with his wife and two daughters to escape the jihadist attacks that put his family’s lives at risk. They crossed the Sahara Desert intent on reaching the Mediterranean Sea and, ultimately, Europe. But when the time came to board the boat, Amadou’s wife was unable to go, and he and his two daughters were forced to leave her behind.

Freezing water seeped into the overcrowded boat during that harrowing January voyage, and the feet of Amadou’s youngest daughter froze. His other daughter, just eight years old, was raped. By the time they arrived in Europe, his younger daughter’s legs were black and his oldest had gone into shock, unable to speak or react to any attempt at communication.

A local refugee ministry came to the family’s aid and transferred Amadou and his children to the hospital. But the damage was too great to his younger daughter’s legs, and they were amputated. A blood clot had also traveled to her brain, which caused a stroke and left her comatose. When doctors attempted to communicate with his oldest daughter, she stared into the distance.

Amadou believed all was lost. He had no way to locate his wife, and his children bore the brunt of the nightmare the family had endured.

“We needed a miracle, well, several miracles, really,” the ministry leader said, and his Christian co-workers began to pray for the family that day, asking God for His intervention.

Several days later, Amadou’s youngest daughter came out of the coma and began to react to stimuli. Amadou allowed ministry workers to take his oldest daughter to Sunday School, and she began to talk and read stories about Jesus. The ministry was also able to locate Amadou’s wife and reunite the family.

“God is powerful, when we pray He moves in the field of the impossible and makes it possible.”

“God is powerful, when we pray He moves in the field of the impossible and makes it possible,” the ministry leader said.

As Amadou saw the changes in his children, he began to see the power of God and trust in His hand in their lives. “Little by little they are trusting us,” the ministry leader said, “and we know that soon they will receive Jesus, it is the work of the Holy Spirit.”

God’s Light Shines in Darkness

Hamadi* witnessed the murder of his brothers and his father at the hands of jihadists in their African village. When a jihadist leveled the gun at him, his mother intervened. “Escape my son,” she yelled. “Escape and at least one of my sons will live.” Hamadi ran. As he fled, he heard the shot that killed his mother.

Hamadi survived for six months in a bordering country until he was able to board a boat bound for Europe. But 90 people crowded into a vessel meant to hold no more than 15, and after only one day at sea, the boat sank, killing dozens of people, including women and children.

Somehow, Hamadi survived and, when he reached shore, found his way to a refugee ministry. But he was tormented with guilt that he had lived when so many others had died, and he would barely look at the ministry workers. Despite his reluctance to engage with anyone, one man became his friend and helped him submit the necessary legal documents, get medical aid, and train for a new job.

“Why do you do this with me, why do you help me and show so much love for me?” Hamadi asked his new friend. The ministry worker saw Hamadi’s question as an opportunity to share the gospel. He told Hamadi that, like his mother, Jesus paid the price for his freedom, only Jesus’ sacrifice was paid on the cross for eternal freedom.

The Holy Spirit moved in Hamadi’s heart and he wept. Shortly after, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and was baptized. Now, he is training to become a leader among other refugees from his country.

The Gospel’s Transformative Power

Refugee ministries not only help refugees obtain the necessary tools for resettlement, but they also build relationships, helping them process the trauma of their journey and sharing the love of Christ. Many refugees who become believers are then able to share the gospel with the family they left behind. “This is transforming some towns in Africa where they never heard of Jesus,” one ministry leader said.

Please consider a donation today to help support native workers sharing the gospel among refugees.

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