by Virginia Teitt, New Wilmington Mission Conference Director
As we approach the celebration of the Christ child’s birth, we anticipate in fresh ways the full impact of God in human flesh, the One who offered His life for the sake of saving ours. Jesus broke down barriers, shattered boundaries, included outcasts, restored exiles and offered hope and new life in often the most unexpected places.
The church I serve participates in an outreach of welcome and witness to refugees, immigrants and students from Muslim-majority countries. Our outreach partners, a Pakistani couple, once had a thriving ministry as church planters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but due to escalating persecution and death threats made the difficult decision to seek asylum in the United States.
They eventually arrived in Ohio—safe but disoriented—with their three young children in tow and all their remaining possessions jammed into three suitcases. Grieving the loss of their homeland, Christian community, family, friends and vocational identity, they wondered what their purpose could possibly be in a Western nation that seemed to have so little in common with their former country.
It didn’t take long for them to discover they weren’t alone. Thousands of other refugees and immigrants from around the world had been resettled in the same area. These foreigners, like them, were overwhelmed and confused. Many of them had come from nations and people groups where they’d never had the chance to hear about Jesus. Recognizing the incredible—but not unfamiliar—opportunity God placed before them, this couple began to do exactly what He’d prepared and equipped them to do as church planters in Pakistan, extending hospitality and friendship to strangers and sharing the Gospel with any who would listen.
During the season of Advent, we remember that Christ was born into a broken and hurting world to bring redemption—to seek out and save all that’s lost and create a future full of new possibilities for all peoples. Please pray with me and my Pakistani friends for unreached people, especially those who are refugees and immigrants, to encounter Christ on a journey of redemption.
Follow along with our daily devotional series for the Advent season.