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God Is on the Move in the Midst of the Afghanistan Crisis: How Believers Can Help

Over the last month we have been bombarded by images, videos, and soundbites about the crisis in Afghanistan. It is hard to know what to feel. Everything has happened so fast. Grief? Anger? Fear? Helplessness?

Regardless of our feelings, we know that God never wastes anything and is always working out His good purposes.

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27, ESV).

God is on the move. When we read these verses above from Acts 17, we like to say that "God is in the people-moving business." Even now God is moving Afghans from places where they could not hear the good news of Jesus to places where they can.

We just received word that in the first phase of Afghan resettlement, our little community* will receive 1200 Afghans (250-300 families) over the next few months. We have already started visiting new families and found them very open to talk with us and let us pray for them in the name of Jesus.

We asked the father of a new family what he had done in his country to qualify him for the Special Immigration Visa (SIV). He replied: "I have spent almost 20 years making sure that groups of American soldiers didn't get attacked by extremists. That was my job." We thanked him for his service and welcomed him and his family to our country. These are precious people who love America dearly and the American people they served side-by-side with for two decades. They are greatly rejoicing at the new start they have been given.

So, what can we do to help? How can we join what God is doing in and through this massive humanitarian crisis? We offer three suggestions: pray, give, and serve.

Pray

As believers, we know God loves to hear and respond to our prayers. Below are a few ways you can pray. Alternately, you may want to print out this prayer bulletin to keep with you to pray throughout the week or share with others.

Pray for Afghan believers: protection for those being targeted by the Taliban, preservation of the Church as members are scattered and hiding, perseverance for those persecuted for their faith, proclamation of the gospel with boldness and clarity as God opens doors.

Pray for Afghanistan: for security for those vulnerable to violence, extortion, sickness/COVID, loss of vital necessities, lack of employment, and an absence of emotional support; stability for the economy, government, infrastructure, education, and social services; and spiritual awakening for those trapped in an ideology of fear and disillusionment.

Pray for the global Church's response to refugees: that the church would embrace immigrants by extending hospitality and meeting basic needs; enfold them into community through friendship, language learning, education, and employment; and engage them with the gospel in Word and deed.

Give

The families who fled Afghanistan left with what they could carry in a bag. Most of them were unable to withdraw any money from their bank accounts because of the run on the banks as the Taliban took control. They have nothing, yet they are grateful to be alive and to have a fresh start in a country where they will be safe.

Would you consider giving a gift to help us meet the physical and spiritual needs of the newly arriving Afghan families? You can give to our specific location’s refugee ministry to meet the immediate material needs of these newly arriving families, or donate to a broader global initiative to engage Afghan refugees around the world.

Serve

There are currently several places to serve Afghan refugees in North America and beyond, both short term (1-11 months) and long term (2+ years). We would love to have a conversation with you and help you explore your calling if God has put this on your heart. Learn more.

Not a New Task

Many people don't realize that we have actually been receiving "SIV" refugees here in our community for the past six years. These people have been a central part of our ministry through the years. Right now they are grieving as many of their families were not able to get out and are in great danger. Please pray for us as we love them and pray that we will be able to share how the Prince of Peace is the One who can calm their fears.

*Location withheld for security reasons.

JH Sep 28, 2021
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