CSM Books and the Syrian Diaspora
January saw Clear and Simple Media taking part in a conference for international mission leaders. Delegates representing every region of the world attended. We had multiple conversations with men and women who were connected with and ministering to refugees. Some of the workers we met are working in Diaspora ministries.
Diaspora is a term originally used to describe the exiled Jews of the Old Testament. After generations of unrepentant sinful behavior, the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel were conquered by the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, forcing the Israelites out of the Promised Land.
As they were scattered across the known world, they were forced to acclimate to the cultures around them while relearning how to maintain their relationship with God.
Today, a similar concept is playing out among the millions of refugees flooding from the Middle East and Northern Africa. These people, largely Muslim, come from unreached people groups.
As they move into these neutral zones, they experience freedom to explore the Christian faith and ask honest questions about Jesus. As a result, people are coming to faith in him and missionaries are able to reach them for the first time. Diaspora Ministry is the term now in common use for the work which focus on these people.
Many of these displaced people have come to faith in Christ in recent years. Some are now returning to their home countries to take the gospel to their families. We had heard stories in the past about how Clear and Simple Media books, both in print and electronic media, have found their way into the hands of some in that situation. Last week, we received a note from a new friend that we were introduced to through a contact we made at the conference. He relayed a story of how a Syrian refugee who had been living in Turkey has returned home. He was given the Arabic translation of our book Simple Truths and is now using it inside Syria.
There are several stories like this whose details we cannot safely share. We are confident that there are others that we may not ever hear about. So, we continue to put as many books into the hands of as many people as we can, praying that the seed we sow will bear much fruit – even if we never (in this life) get to see it.