Cathy is holding a tiny lizard in the palm of her hand. I think it is the smallest one we have ever seen. It is so small you could easily miss its presence.
In the last several weeks we have traveled to areas of the world that display the personal result of the Islamic caliphate. Islam's primary awaited savior, the Mahdi is expected to return. According to Islamic teaching, he will return near the end of the world to rule the earth for seven years and bring about final judgement.
If you do not believe like they believe and do what they say you will be killed. Thousands upon thousands of people have been killed, threatened and displaced. This includes Muslims, Christians and Jews. Their savagery has prompted many to flee their lands with only the clothes on their backs.
We have met refugees from all over the Middle East while in Europe. Their plight is troubling but our view of them, especially in America, is so small. We hardly notice the circumstances surrounding their flight. Churches in Germany are reaching out to help those displaced people. They are showing the love of Christ.
I walked into the room of students, at a local church, desiring to learn German and got immediate notice. I greeted each person with a handshake and a warm hello in their language of Farsi. You could see the surprise on their face and others strained their necks to catch a glimpse of the American who was saying hello. I sat next to an Algerian refugee who spoke no English, no German and mostly Arabic.
We attempted to convey ideas with our hands. I am sure a video of our attempted conversation would make the TV show America's Funniest Videos. Each of us wanted to talk but our languages made it difficult at best.
I discovered he had a brother in New York City who drives a taxi. "Me brudder stay in New York" and he put his hands as if on a steering wheel. I retorted back Taxi and he cheerfully laughed and shook his head yes!
We spent over an hour talking and enjoying each others company. We spoke the German words and laughed at each other as we failed to do it cleanly. We bonded and got to know each other. A friendship was born between a wide eyed Muslim from Africa and this tall American.
Prompted by the Holy Spirit I noticed a man who was from Damascus. I stood up and walked directly at him and spoke. He greeted me warmly and I slowly asked, are you a believer? He immediately responded and said yes. Then he thoughtfully said, I can see the Spirit of God in your eyes. He proudly introduced me to his family who was with him.A chance encounter with a group of Christians that are fleeing the onslaught of ISIS was very exciting. He helped me connect even deeper with my Algerian friend and they left talking with one another.
The hand of God is holding this heart breaking problem and giving Christians the opportunity to share the peace of Jesus Christ. Many refugees feel like this tiny lizard that is so vulnerable and insignificant.
But they do not escape the sight and interest of our loving God. Thankfully neither do we. Pray for us as we return home today after a month in Europe.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.