Stories of Impact
From Impossible Places
In 2017, the world experienced one of the most egregious assaults upon a single people group that very few know about. Can you imagine one ethnic group being targeted by another with such hatred that children were ripped from the arms of parents and thrown into the flames of burning huts? Or a people group having every possession confiscated or destroyed, only to have a band of thugs encouraged by the enemy to brutally sexually assault terrified moms and daughters? This is the reality of the Rohingya!
These precious people have lived in makeshift, temporary shelters for the past 5 years along the southern peninsula of Bangladesh. A place called Teknaf hosts what has become one of the largest refugee crises in the world today. When I was there last month, many of the refugees expressed their deep desire to return to their native land within Myanmar. However, returning to their homeland appears very unlikely as the military has created one of the most unstable environments in the world following their coup last year. The Rohingya are a stateless people group wanted by no one! They live in shelters you would not allow your pet to stay in. These shelters are vulnerable to annual monsoon flooding and summertime fires that consume dozens of shelters on a regular basis. Does that sound like hell on Earth? Shockingly, it gets worse.
The Rohingya are considered 100% Muslim and most are outside of any possible gospel influence! As followers of Jesus, we must find this unacceptable. As stewards of the Great Commission, we must not settle for this reality.
Fortunately, our indigenous leader has already enacted the principles of 2 Timothy 2:2 to multiply and train and equip local leaders. Over the past year, he has already mobilized 2 dozen local Rohingya leaders who are committed to changing the Rohingya’s desperate spiritual condition.
Armed with the Good News, they are visiting most of the 30 different camps filled with one million Rohingya refugees declaring the Good News of Jesus Christ! Now, we have the opportunity to help a vision that will bring Christ to the Rohingya and see local leaders trained and sent into neighboring mission fields.
To reach the Rohingya, we must intentionally raise up discipleship makers: people equipped to navigate the generational aspects of Islam while delicately addressing the genocide they have endured.
Establishing a Shiloh Center in a nearby community is critical to that training. It will allow new believers who are eager to become missionaries to be trained and equipped for this urgent need. They will join other ethnic leaders representing a variety of majority Muslim people groups covering Bangladesh. As they learn, encourage and grow from one another, we will see church planting movements established. This Shiloh Center will become a refuge for these leaders to come and refresh so that they do not become weary.
Together in the Harvest,
Greg Kelley CEO
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