Abram’s motorcycle bounces along the dusty desert road in the chilly night air. The solitary beam from his headlight seems to search aimlessly into the blackness of night, until finally it finds its mark—a guard shack just ahead. Menacing barbed-wire fences reach into the darkness on either side. If he proceeds, Abram knows he could be in trouble. This is the moment of truth. But what lies beyond the guard shack is worth the risk.
Why would anyone visit an off-limits desert camp, within fenced boundaries, full of Syrian refugees under the cover of darkness? Because inside is an underground church that is quietly yet rapidly growing just beneath the radar of those who would put an end to it should they discover it. It is a place where, not only is evangelism prohibited by the authorities, but even visitation by outsiders.
The risks are great for Abram and his team of undercover missionaries working in this undisclosed Middle Eastern country bordering war-torn Syria. This particular group of Syrian refugees—who have all fled ISIS and the civil war back home—were almost 100% Muslim when they arrived at the camp. They were and are now living in a nation where the discovery of conversion from Islam to Christianity guarantees persecution, or death. If Abram or any of his team members were reported to authorities, they would certainly face imprisonment. But so far, their cover has remained secure.
What Abram discovered when he first began visiting this camp changed everything he and his team formerly believed about evangelism to Muslims. In the past, they found that outreaches to Muslims required a long-term investment with very gradual rewards. But this refugee camp has proven to be different. The inhabitants are very open to talking about Jesus. Years of fleeing war zones and surviving with little more than the clothes on their backs has caused them to question their historic faith that drives many extremists. Christians like Abram—concerning whom they were previously told were their enemy—have come offering relief aid, love, and a message of hope. So hearts are wide open.
God is moving, Abram says, and He has lit a wildfire throughout that camp. One family alone has started 8 underground house churches among their friends and neighbors!
Abram has returned again on this dark night to nurture new disciples. But everything depends on what happens as he pulls up to the camp’s perimeter where a guard is stationed.
As he cautiously advances on his motorcycle, Abram’s headlamp allows him to finally see the guard’s face. Their eyes meet, and Abram feels a wave of relief. This guard is the one Abram was hoping for, an “inside man” who allows him access beyond the camp’s barbed-wire fences. It will be another glorious night of building God’s kingdom.