It is Sunday afternoon in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, and a busy refugee cafe at a local church has just opened its doors for an afternoon of coffees, conversations and Bible-study.
Chemnitz has recently been on the news for anti-refugee and immigration protests, but this church is determined to show Jesus’ love and help the newcomers integrate well.
Church members have been reaching out intentionally to refugees; visiting their homes and inviting them personally to church services and to the cafe. Although many struggle with the German language, and the format of a church service is still strange to them, many enjoy attending and learning about God. In fact, some even want to be baptised!
It is wonderful to see how ordinary Germans from the congregation have been reaching out in friendship and aid to the refugees. During the services, they sit amongst the migrants and help them find their place in the songbooks or Bibles, and explain what is being said. At the afternoon cafe, they split into two language groups – one for Africans and the other for Arabic-speakers – and share our lives through Bible study, conversation and open questions.
Here, the refugees are free. Here, they can ask freely and openly about the Good News of Jesus.
God is at work in the hearts of refugees, migrants and citizens. But he uses us as tools for his purposes. Will you join us in pray and action?