by an Alliance international worker in France
As a praise and an encouragement, I want to share an update regarding our Christmas outreach for our Syrian refugee friends in southern France.
Just before Christmas, we distributed food in a neighborhood in which the Syrian refugees have found shelter. They live in an abandoned building that is supposed to be demolished.
As we distributed the food, we gave them an invitation in Arabic for a special Christmas celebration that we wanted to organize for them. We also gave them a calendar with a verse of the Bible in Arabic for each day and a little booklet for kids entitled Do You Know the King?
We did not know how many would come to this event, because it would take place in one of the French Alliance churches. We thought that maybe 10–20 people would attend. We had planned crafts for the kids, worship songs, a short video of the JESUS film in Arabic, and believers’ testimonies of what Christmas means to them.
To our amazement, 70–80 people came—adults and kids. We could have had more if we would have had more vehicles for transportation.
There was much joy and love as we celebrated and shared the story of our Lord’s birth. It was well received by our Syrian friends, and they were very thankful. We are praying that this will be the start of great relationships to love and witness for Jesus.
There are many more things we could share of God’s working in and around this event. One of them is that it was a privilege to see the Body of Christ working together to pray, prepare, and volunteer for this event. Five to six churches were involved in this outreach—both Alliance and non-Alliance churches.
But the greatest highlight of all is when one of our volunteers overheard a conversation in Arabic, taking place in a group of Syrian women. One of them said, “Look how those Christians welcome us, take care of us, and how they love us!”