A Brief Encounter
A Snap Shot
Keep on Smiling
When Hope Fades

We do not often meet refugees from Ethiopia and when I met Adam he struck me from the first as very different.  He was gentle, shy, and with a wonderful smile.  The Oasis Coffee bar is a great place to just chat and get to know a refugee.  He spoke English well and it took no time for him to tell me he was a believer, and because he was persecuted in his country for changing his religion, he had to leave. He asked for an English Bible and where he could go to church. 

The next Sunday and a few weeks following he attended a local African fellowship and I saw his strength and hope grow.  Then he was transferred.  Sadly that often happens when a relationship between an international worker and refugee is yet in the very beginning.  When he arrived at his new housing-- on the other side of Austria-- we stayed in touch by phone. He was so lonely there, he could not find a church, and asked me to help him. In the month or so that I was trying to make connections, he became very low. Sadly here in Austria he was also suffering persecution from brothers that were Muslim,  He was badly beaten by some men in his refugee house, and while in the hospital again he called and said, "Julie, please find someone to visit me, and find me a church." By God’s grace it came together and a man named Graham began to visit and minister to this weary refugee. But he lives to far away from the church to attend.  

On Easter morning I was in Vienna just waiting for an Afghan family as we where on the way to a new church where they could also be connected to a fellowship.  I thought of Adam and dialed him up on my cell phone.  In greeting him with the blessed words:  “Adam truly we worship a living Lord, Christ is Risen”,  he had a most wonderful answer.  "Indeed, and may I tell you how he has blessed me?"  He then shared that when he went for his interview to ask for asylum here in Austria, the first question that was asked of him by the interviewer was: “ What is your hope here in Austria?”   He joyfully answered, “ my hope is in Jesus Christ and nothing else”.  He was granted asylum.  Praise God for such faith in and through suffering. He is 18 and hopes to study in Vienna.

Pray for other refugees that come here seeking refuge from persecution as to change your belief from Islam to Christianity opens the door for suffering, but for those who have chosen Christ, they are a great testimony to us all. Their greatest need here is fellowship and encouragement of other Christians.  Praise God we are all one family, and children from different nations coming together to give Him all the Glory.