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LOVE HAS HANDS & FEET
REFUGEE MINISTRY IN THE BAVARIAN RHÖN
By Dan Dubbe
Dan & Tricia Dubbe serve in
Bischofsheim, Germany
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye
shall not vex him (Leviticus 19:33). An interesting
aspect of our church ministry is working with refugees
from a rich assortment of countries. Twelve different
nationalities are represented in our church. Last year
we hosted an International Day and celebrated with
singing and testimonies from each nationality and
country of origin. The local paper published an article
about this event.

Our church is located in the northern part of Bavaria in lower Franconia, Germany. It
is in a rural and traditional setting. When the German government opened the doors
to the country with few restrictions in the beginning, multitudes of refugees flowed
in, primarily from Muslim countries. The government began to redirect refugees
to rural areas and established refugee homes. I was part of a group in our city who
helped with new arrivals and that allowed us direct contact with the refugees. Our
church has been open and receptive since the beginning to help these often desperate
people. We put on Christmas programs and other events for those in the homes.

Those who converted from Islam to Jesus have been primarily Iranians who fled their
country and came to Germany. There are Iranian Christian churches in the larger
cities in Germany. We have baptized those who have trusted Christ and endeavored
to disciple them. A young Iranian man has married a local German girl. Together,
they serve in our Iranian outreach and coordinate the translation and ministry to
the refugees.

Many times a refugee or a refugee couple has received a court order to leave the
country. We have gone to court with them as a witness and in each of the seven
recent cases, the appeals have been decided positively. At this point, we have not lost
a refugee.

In June 2019, as a church family, we decided to provide church asylum to an Iranian
family of three. They had received a letter of deportation and had no chance of
staying in Germany. The parents had trusted Christ in Iran and then fled to Europe.

Since the Middle Ages there has been a tacit agreement by the German government
(Remember Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame?) to allow people to enter
into church asylum to avoid the repression from the State. Our church heartily agreed
to help, providing a travel trailer on the church playground for living quarters and
providing all necessary living expenses, including medical and dental costs. They are
6 BIMI Number 1, 2021