This book wasn’t exactly what I expected.
I thought it would be about Muslims who fled from ISIS controlled areas, and in the process of fleeing to safety, found faith in Jesus.
That in escaping extremist Islam, their experiences not only made them question their own Islamic faith, but through that experience they came to know the love of God through Christ.
At first I thought the title was misleading because it didn’t fulfil that expectation. However, about halfway through I recognised the title had a different kind of application. That recognition came when reading the story of a man, an Iraqi Christian from a Christian community. He tells of experiencing a change:
“…it was as if someone took away all my sadness and gave me another light shining on me. I started a new relationship with Jesus, and I felt like a new man, a new person. I found my hope in Christ. I began to see that in some ways I lost everything when ISIS came to Qaraqosh, but really I found Jesus.”
A related, significant reality I found expressed in this book, is the gaping disconnect between the lives Christians live in the west, and those lived by believers elsewhere.
The man mentioned above didn’t have anything like the prosperity that the west takes for granted, but when he lost what he had, he found something much more valuable; something he thought he already had – and then with the loss of everything else he recognised a sufficiency and wealth only available through closeness to Christ that he’d not experienced before.
There is a vital lesson to be learned by Christians in the west. A lesson that will challenge the seeming obsession with maintaining and protecting a perceived quality of life that is often attributed to God’s blessing. The price of protecting those “blessings” is often a denial of help to people in need, a failure to share those “blessings”.
The author writes of the generosity of the nation of Jordan, who welcomed so many refugees from neighbouring Syria and Iraq, that refugees now made up one in four of the population.
“If that were the United States, it would be like half of Mexico and all of Canada moving in”
Is it necessary to say anything else to address the difference in attitude displayed by western nations with an alleged strong Christian foundation?
The author continues, describing the hardships that have been created,
“…the influx of people looking for cheap accommodations had caused both rents and the prices of staple goods to rise sharply, making life even harder for Jordan’s population. And yet still they open their doors and invite refugees in.”
On questioning a local about the inconvenience of this, he received the reply “What else can we do? Wouldn’t you do the same?”
Sadly most in the west clearly wouldn’t. And neither would many western “Christians”.
I wonder what it will take for THEM to find Jesus.