I have a friend who was an Army infantry officer in Afghanistan. He was involved in numerous firefights,  lost some friends, and hardened his heart. And he came to hate Muslims. All Muslims. Upon returning home it disturbed him to see women in head coverings walking in American malls and mosques being built on American streets. Everywhere he looked he saw “the enemy.” But God was working on his heart. 

As the mental haze of war cleared, he turned to scripture. Passages he’d never noticed before suddenly leapt off the pages of his Bible. God was transforming him. He came to see that the gospel of the kingdom was meant for everyone, not only those who grew up with it. Being a man who understood authority, when God eventually called him to bring the gospel to a Muslim people in a distant country he didn’t question the call. 

Now he and his wife and two sons have joined a mission agency and are preparing to leave the US to work with a Muslim population overseas. Amazingly, he came to learn that members of that same group had been living in his own small town as refugees for years! Now, through a local Christian refugee-welcoming ministry, he and his wife are helping members of that refugee community learn English. They eat in Muslim homes, laugh with Muslim children, and love Muslims as people for whom Jesus died. His mission to Muslims has begun and he hasn’t even left town yet.

Are there refugees in your town waiting to be welcomed? Are there people like my friend who don’t even know they’re there? Is your church connecting them to each other? Let the RISE Project help you start!