Afghan Refugees Converting to Christianity Due to Powerful Work of God
What can God do through a single family that gives their lives to him? We’re seeing the fruits of that in a camp near the Afghan border, where Afghan refugees are converting to Christianity in growing numbers.
This bordering nation has seen a massive influx of refugees since the Taliban took over Kabul in the summer of 2021 after the US pullout. But what looked like a disaster last summer – and was for many – has been used by God to lead a growing number of Afghan refugees to convert to Christianity and begin following him.
The amazing thing is, this all started in 2019, two full years before the Taliban returned to power.
Here’s how it started:
Making Disciples through Business – the iBAM Way
An iBAM partner, who we will call Malik to protect his privacy, began working with Afghan refugees in 2019. Back then, there weren’t as many people escaping Afghanistan as now, but large portions of the country hadn’t been safe for years, and a steady flow of refugees had been entering Malik’s country.
Malik felt a particularly strong push from the Holy Spirit toward one particular Muslim family. Through a powerful work of God, that family eventually gave their hearts to God and began following him, being discipled by Malik.
Later that year, the family opened a grocery store with help from iBAM. Our mission is to facilitate discipleship through business entrepreneurship, and their store was a terrific way to bless the community, help the few dozen refugees in the area, provide income for their family, and help provide stable funding for the local 100-person church.
Consistent donations and gifts from people like you made this initial planting possible, and sustained it as it began to grow.
Then covid arrived and caused a lot of disruption to the business, eventually forcing its closure. But the work with the refugees continued. They continued to provide food, medicine, and the beginnings of Christian community.
The Stream of Afghan Refugees Turns into a Flood in 2021
When the Taliban took over, many more Afghan refugees begin to arrive, and Malik needed help to meet their basic needs. Together with other Christians in the camps and the local church, Malik partnered with iBAM to meet the growing need.
The local Christian community didn’t just meet the physical needs of the refugees.
They also shared how God had changed their lives and gave them an eternal hope. Whereas Islam was the reason they had to flee their country, God welcomed them with open arms into an eternal one, and the number of people turning to follow God and converting to Christianity began to grow.
The grocery store owners developed deep friendships with many refugee families, and a much larger camp had to be created.
Now, there is music, food, games, and life. Even in a refugee camp with lots of uncertainty and suffering, there is hope and joy. More are reading and studying the Bible together, sharing the gospel with others, and helping their neighbors.
It has echoes of the community spoken of in Acts 2, where the disciples met together frequently, shared their possessions with anyone in need, ate, prayed, and worshipped together, and grew the church. Because of one family turning to Christ and starting a grocery store back in 2019, something similar is happening right now in an Afghan refugee camp.
And you can help keep the fire spreading by providing for the needs of the refugees in the camp through iBAM.
If you’d like to help, click here to donate and select ‘Central Asia Support’ from the dropdown menu.
What’s Next for Afghan Refugees in Central Asia?
It’s hard to know how God will use what he has started through Malik and the grocery store owners. With thousands of refugees still coming over from Afghanistan, and a growing number converting to Christianity and being discipled, almost anything is possible.
This movement could lead to transformation of the nation housing these refugees. It could lead to a further spread of the gospel in the surrounding areas. Perhaps, somehow, it will lead to actual change in Afghanistan itself. Not just political change. But eternal change as its people encounter the true love of God through the people ministering the gospel, and through help from people like you who desire, as God does, to see everyone come to repentance and faith.
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