Since arriving in Catania, you have been praying for people from many different locations who have arrived here in Europe. Here are some of the regions that people arrive from into Europe:
You will see that these people are coming from many locations where the Gospel has not been heard and Jesus is not known, thus many of the world’s unreached people groups are in these regions and this is one of the greatest reasons we have come to Europe, to meet these people with the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
People come to Europe for many different reasons. Many come for a better life economically. However, some also come migrate because of war, as a result of persecution, or because of repressive governmental regimes.
For many, they will face a journey that is full of peril. They will cross the Saharan desert, live in the lawless country of Libya, and cross the Mediterranean Sea in a rubber raft with only the hope of being rescued. In short, they are desperate!
You can learn more about the migration patterns of the people coming to Italy on this page on the New York Times:
There are some very harsh realities of making this trip, migrating into Europe. These people very often experience severe trauma as they do so, witnessing death many times, frequently with people close to them.
Watch the videos below to gain a sense of the weight of the migration:
The Bible has much to say about how we are to treat foreigners that we as Christians can apply as we think about these refugees and immigrants who are coming to Europe. You may find this article from WorldVision helpful in this regard.
However, one scripture that is frequently not quoted as we think about refugees is Acts 17:24-28. We believe that this is particularly helpful as we think about God’s mission and his true heart for these immigrants. Here is what it says:
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’