Australia regularly receives boatloads of refugees seeking asylum. Many of these people from surrounding nations are genuine asylum seekers, while others are not. It’s a challenge for the government to discern the difference as it processes these people arriving on its shores.
The refugees are temporarily housed on Christmas Island while their cases are being investigated. There are ministries on the island that provide aid to these men and women from distant places. James and Shelly Campbell* are one such ministry couple. They interact with the refugees, providing help and handing out Bibles and Christian literature to those who ask for them. At their request, our Australia office shipped them a box of What are Christmas and Easter all About? along with other GoodSeed books. The parcel was apparently lost in the mail but, thank God, it showed up two months later.
Within days, James and Shelly gave away all the copies of What are Christmas and Easter all About? except one which James said he was “zealously guarding.” Then he met a 16 year-old refugee from Sri Lanka. This young man was so excited to read the book. He wanted to use James’s last copy to share the gospel with fellow refugees. Seeing the young man’s enthusiasm, James happily let him keep his last copy of Christmas and Easter.
The next day, the Campbells visited another center where they met a beautiful lady from Nepal. She was curious why James was at the centre and when James explained his work and that he was a Christian, she exclaimed, “So am I!” She gave him a big hug and went to get her husband. As James and Shelley chatted with them, they learned that their new friends didn’t have a Bible. Although the Campbells didn’t have a Nepalese Bible, they were able to leave them a GoodSeed book (which one wasn’t mentioned). James told them to read the book and then use it to teach other refugees. It was God’s timing that they should meet when they did. The very next day, the Nepalese couple were shipped off of Christmas Island to another destination.
Pray with us that the young man from Sri Lanka and the couple from Nepal will be faithful ambassadors for Christ to the refugees around them wherever they may be. And pray that James and Shelley will get more resources for their ministry!
(*Name changed as per GoodSeed policy.)
Photo credit: DIBP images on flickr