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Image by Douglas O



Since 2001 waves of war, violence, political instability, and economic turmoil have wracked the Middle East leading to the destabilization and/or collapse of countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran.  As a result, countless people have fled their homes seeking safety, economic security, and hope.  Millions of them, from this block of countries, have fled across Turkey to the Aegean coast where many of them attempt treacherous water crossings in overcrowded rafts all in the hope of entering Europe via Greek Islands like Chios, Samos, Kos, and Lesvos.  


Greece has become, the entry point, ground zero for the refugee crisis in Europe.  This crisis has led to turmoil and conflict all over the continent as nations struggle with integrating new people from very different backgrounds.  Many are concerned that European cultures will be lost under a tidal wave of immigration, others are concerned that there may be a rise in Islamic extremism, still others are concerned with the economic fallout.  


There is so much chaos.  There is so much uncertainty.  How can the refugees be helped?  Can they be helped without destroying the nations of Europe?  What can be done?  What should we do? 


Here, at the Mars Hill Initiative, we believe that, as always, The Word of God holds the answer.  


In Acts 17:26-27 Paul is speaking on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, the very place where our current crisis is unfolding.   Standing there on Mars Hill he said, “From one man He (meaning God) has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.  He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him…”


If that’s true, if the Bible is right then God, not men, has determined the boundaries of where these people are living.  That means Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq didn’t fall.  God broke them.  God broke them and scattered their people.  And verse 27 tells us why.  It says, “He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him”. 


Here at The Mars Hill Initiative we believe, in accordance with this scripture, that God is at work.  We believe that God scattered these people from their home so that some of them, in their wanderings, would find Him. We exist to make it very easy for refugees and displaced people to find God along the way.  


We do this by providing humanitarian helps like education, youth and children’s activities, and medical services and using those platforms to share the Gospel.  


It has, for a very long time, been incredibly difficult for Christians to evangelize places like Afghanistan and Syria.  We are free to speak in Europe.  God has changed the boundaries of where these people live so that some of them will find Him.  We are His representatives.  We are His ambassadors.  We exist to be there and lead them to Him.

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