A cross-cultural couple with a passionate heart for outreach among Muslims are about to start work among Middle Eastern refugees in Greece.
Chagor, who comes from South Sudan, and his European wife, Rahel, embody the aims of the #HowWillTheyHear campaign, set up last year with the express purpose of sharing Christ with refugees and migrants.
The couple have been led by God throughout their adult lives and marvel at the way he has brought them together.
Chagor, who speaks fluent Arabic, was himself a refugee from the Sudan war, fleeing first to Egypt and finally ending up in Israel. Rahel was once a member of All Souls Church, London and was also involved in Muslim outreach at Speakers’ Corner before going to teach in Israel.
It was there she met her future husband and they discovered their shared gospel passion for Muslims.
Rahel said: “We never heard a special call to go to Greece but it has been on our hearts for many years to serve God in mission and to bring the gospel to the unreached, particularly Muslims. So when the evangelical church in Greece was asking for people who speak Arabic, and have a heart for Muslims and refugees, it seemed like the perfect fit.
“Praying about it, we felt peace in our hearts to take the step of faith.
“God has opened many doors for us since, so that we are sure to be heading in the right direction, with our shepherd going ahead of us.”
The couple, with their three children all aged under seven, are being sent through SIM Switzerland, having built a support base there.
They are settling in Thessalonika and will be working among Yazidi, Afghan, Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian and Pakistani refugees through a church which also runs two daycare centres.
Chagor first visited the ministry early this year and the couple then saw how God was leading them into it.
He will work alongside the American pastor, translating sermons into Arabic and then working as his assistant.
He will visit refugee camps through the week, building relationships and encouraging anyone who shows an interest in Jesus. He will be part of both the evangelical church, which meets in the main town, and a Yazidi church, which meets about an hour away.
Rahel will have her hands full with the children but hopes to begin teaching English at the daycare centres and will naturally get involved with friendship evangelism.
She said: “The Yazidi church needs people who can speak Arabic so they can build relationships with people.
“The Yazidis are an ethnic Kurdish minority from Iraq and Syria and are followers of an old Persian cult - a mix of Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism. Since August, 2014, they have been victims of an on-going genocide at the hand of the Islamic State.
“Every Friday evening, a small congregation of Yazidis meet for a service. Some of them have become Christians and others are curious to find out more. The sermons are in English and are translated by short-term workers, so Chagor will help with both translation and preaching.
“The daycare centres open two days a week and provide everything from food to English classes, from second-hand clothes to laundry facilities, as well as being a place to hang out and talk.”
The couple have no doubt their ministry will develop as they get more and more involved with the church and the community.
What will never change though, is God’s profound love for these refugees and their passionate desire to share Jesus with them.
For Chagor, Rahel and the children to settle well in their new community and be a blessing to refugees.
- For good relationships to develop between the family and the migrants and refugees in the camps.
That God will be glorified through all the Greek evangelical church is doing among Muslims and Yazidis.
Picture: EPPCOR; bit.ly/CCLCa2