Amsterdam is a melting pot of racial and religious diversity. Nearly half of the city is made up of ethnic minorities representing more than 180 different nationalities.
The recent refugee crises around the world have only served to heighten these statistics as many displaced families seek to build their new lives in diverse metropolises that are more likely to be welcoming to foreigners.
Legal processes for refugees’ integration into the nation are often strenuous and offer little room for aid and relief efforts, and although some churches in the city focus specifically on outreach efforts to displaced people groups, many encounter difficult language barriers.
Over the past two years, Send Relief partners have been hard at work ministering to the prominent refugee community in Amsterdam. In conjunction with several local churches, Send Relief was able to establish an outreach program, along with Bible studies, for Arabic-speaking displaced families.
As a result, more than 150 refugees have heard the gospel and received food assistance. Two new discipleship groups have been started, and hundreds of people were impacted by community and church events in their native language.
One refugee, Ahmed*, met with some partners over sandwiches to discuss how God was working in and through him. After fleeing his home country where he had been raised Muslim, Ahmed became an atheist. Scarred by his past, he wanted nothing to do with God or organized religion. He was forced to flee to Europe where he was married and had his first child, but Ahmed soon encountered another obstacle that challenged his spirituality: his newborn daughter was born with a life-threatening illness, and doctors told Ahmed and his wife to prepare for the worst.
After hearing this devastating news about his baby, Ahmed walked to a bar and got drunk. After he stumbled home, Ahmed felt a strange impulse come over him, prompting him to pray to Jesus—something he’d never thought of doing before in his life—to ask for his daughter to be spared and healed of her disease.
The next day at a follow-up doctor’s appointment, Ahmed and his wife walked into the waiting room expecting a death sentence. They emerged with the shocking news that their daughter had made a full recovery.
Since that miraculous day, Ahmed had been searching for someone to tell him more about Christianity, the Bible and the man called Jesus. After Send Relief partners shared the gospel with him, Ahmed was amazed at the series of events that had led him to this new realization, and he accepted Jesus into his life! Partners gave Ahmed his own Bible, and he was baptized shortly after his conversion, eager to start his new life with Jesus.
Pray for Ahmed to grow in his faith and boldness to share with others the joy he has found in his new family of God, and pray for other refugees on the run, that they would find new homes and communities.
If you want to support more life-changing projects like this, give now at sendrelief.org/donate.
*Name changed for security.
Published October 9, 2020