How would you react if you saw hundreds of cars backed up trying to get to a ferry port? I would probably just get stressed, but the founders of Operation Transit saw an opportunity for the gospel.
Each year, thousands of North Africans travel from their workplaces in Europe back home to visit family in places where the gospel is not easily shared. But as they wait in European ports, ministry teams with Operation Transit (a partnership that Cru is involved in) pass out gospel materials. Our friends Allen and Deedee Iobst help lead this ministry and report that teams distributed almost 220,000 items in 2015.
They’ve also been experimenting with different types of technology, which always gets me excited. They’re working on USB thumb drives that will contain gospel materials, and even portable wifi routers that create mini web sites from which passersby can download films and books.
They’re always looking for families and church teams to join them for 12-day sessions throughout the summer. If you’re interested, contact us and we’ll connect you with Allen and Deedee.
God produces a constant stream of encouraging stories from Operation Transit. In their latest newsletter, Allen and Deedee report:
“Recently, five ladies from a couple of churches in Madrid came down to help us with our outreach. One day they faced a day-long downpour. But something extraordinary happened: exactly when the cars drove off the ferry boat, the rain stopped just long enough for effective Bible distribution. Then the rain would start up again, until the next boat arrived! On another day, the same team met increasing opposition from the port police. Then one of the ladies explained: ‘What we are doing is helping you. We are sharing the love of Jesus, and if they accept it, it will change everything for the better.’ The official agreed, saying ‘I didn’t realize that.’ He went on to explain our outreach to his colleague. After that, the same port police who had been discouraging the work began actively encouraging travelers to accept the gospel packets!”
Because of the location of this work, they have also been wrestling with how to respond to the refugee crisis. “We can respond to the newcomers with fear, or we can respond with love. We can realize that the Lord may be sending people into Europe not just to find safety or jobs, but also to find God’s grace. We can choose to take the opportunity to share God’s love in truly helpful ways.” Please pray for these opportunities!