This is a story about Philip. That is not his real name. But this is his story. It is remarkable and amazing. And it could only happen through a loving and all-powerful Creator.
Philip was born in Rwanda. Early in his childhood, his home country plunged into a civil war. It was a war that quickly degenerated into a terrible genocide. Whole families were slaughtered. The “lucky” ones were merely orphaned. Philip was a lucky one.
As if the horror of losing his family was not enough, in the aftermath, Philip went to an orphanage in a neighboring country. In the Kenyan orphanage, he was a stranger in a strange land. He was alone and unwelcome. Except… he was not alone.
Christ who strengthens
Philip grew up in a Christian home. When he plunged into the darkness of a lonely and foreign land, it caused him to rely totally on Christ. He was not alone in this new lonely land.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
And through Christ, Philip found strength.
He grew up in persecution and suffered the hardship of being a constant outsider. Eventually this persecution led Philip to France to seek asylum. Philip was one of millions of displaced people seeking a new and better life in France. Philip was part of God’s plan.
When God moves a million people, He does it for a reason. The mass migration happening across the world has created a God-sized opportunity. Millions of people that have had no, or very little, access to the Gospel now have the opportunity to know Christ. Philip was part of this plan.
Living as a man of faith
Philip has currently been in France a little over a year. He has already become fluent in French. Since he is not allowed to work yet, he volunteers full time at a center that helps other refugees. Most of them do not know Christ. Philip is an outspoken and faithful follower of Christ. Every day Philip is able to shine light into darkness.
I think of Joseph as Philip tells his story. Joseph lived as a man of faith even when he got thrown into a hole and sold into slavery. He was plunged into darkness as part of a bigger plan. Although he could not see the bigger picture, Joseph trusted that God remained in control. He trusted that God’s plan was good.
Philip’s story resonates on so many levels. It is a picture of the enormity of God’s plan. Even in the darkness, even through turmoil, God is faithful. It’s a reminder that man’s darkest moments are God’s biggest victories. It’s a call to action to abide in Him and remain faithful. Feel inspired by Philip’s story. Take joy in it. God does.
“…. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Learn more about how God is using migration to bring the nations to Himself.