Jeff Johnston with e3 Partners says they recognize that refugees have faced many difficulties.
“Probably nine times out of ten, any refugee you come across has a pretty heart-breaking story of how they wound up where they currently are. Normally, it’s just the dangers of their own city, their own village, their own country [which] are so immense that they have to flee,” Johnston says.
Because of this, e3 Partners works to bring comfort and provisions to refugees such as food, clothing, and shelter in the camps.
“But ultimately, we know and understand that the only thing that’s really, truly going to give them peace and hope is the message of the Gospel.”
e3 Partners strategizes their ministry work by addressing physical needs and then sharing the Gospel with refugees — many of whom are originally from unreached people groups and hard-to-reach areas in their native countries.
Short-term mission volunteers with e3 Partners help multiply their work and come alongside refugees.
“It’s really amazing to just see how God works through the faithfulness of people that are willing to go to these refugee camps and take a couple weeks out of their busy schedule and just love on these people and just share the Gospel with these people.”
Johnston says refugees have been extremely encouraged and changed by the grace and love shown by volunteers. However, volunteers have also been personally moved by going to refugee camps and meeting with the people.
Volunteers “see these people and they see just the love that they have for the simple things in life, the gratefulness they have just to have people there from another country that want to know them, that want to talk with them, that want to love them. They’re just so grateful for that and they’re so attentive when you talk to them.”
As short-term volunteers travel to camps and share, the Word of God has taken root and multiplied throughout the camps.
Even in the last year, Johnston comments that the Gospel has grown significantly in the camps and has led refugees to take the reins in ministry work among their people.
Refugees Taking the Reins of Ministry
Refugees have planted churches in camps, and some churches have grown so abundantly that more churches were born out of them.
“It’s showing that these refugees, they understand the importance of sharing their faith, of sharing the Gospel with others; the importance of not just receiving the grace of God and then doing nothing about it. It’s also showing that they are being raised up as leaders, being raised up as [the] Church,” Johnston says.
“What that allows us to do is then focus not so much on us being there to share the Gospel with as many people as possible, but ultimately to be there to help pour into those leaders and continue to raise them up so that when we’re not there, it continues to flourish. So it’s not something where they’re reliant on the Westerners. They’re not reliant on us to be there to see that work grow, to see the Gospel spread. They’re doing it themselves.”
In their displacement, there is a window of opportunity for refugees from closed countries to come to know who Jesus is and grow in their faith. Once they return to their native lands, they’re able to reach their friends, family, and neighbors with the Gospel. They can act as the Church and help build it up.
Go On a Mission Trip
e3 Partners invites you to encourage, embolden, and minister to people in refugee camps by taking a mission trip.
You can be love to refugees and help them grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ so they can build the Church among their own people.
Please pray for the Lord to raise up believers who will join e3 Partners on mission trips to refugee camps. Pray also that refugees would find peace and hope in Jesus.
Header photo courtesy of e3 Partners.