Hundreds of refugees who were once oppressed by Islamic State terrorists have found new purpose and freedom after embracing Christianity, and are now hoping to return home to share their faith with their friends and families.
According to a report from Mission Network News, in the last 18 months, over 140 refugees living in the City of Refuge have converted to Christianity after fleeing Fallujah, which was overtaken by ISIS and later liberated by Iraqi forces.
Frontiers USA president Bob Blincoe told the outlet that now, some of the new Iraqi Christians want to go back to their homes and share their newfound faith with their neighbors, families and friends.
"They are attracted to go home because that is the place they knew as where they lived their lives," said Blincoe. "And there's no future for them in the refugee tents in the City of Refuge."
"But now they have a mission, and they feel jubilant in the Lord. They have been baptized, most of these groups that they're working with have been baptized," he said.
He revealed that many of those who converted to Christianity were particularly moved by Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28 -"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
"This way of the Lord, this unexpected hope for miserable people, for desperate people, is the number one reason," he said, explaining that the refugees continue to share their faith with family and friends - despite facing danger.
"This is driven by Muslims who have come to faith themselves, which is the thing that of course must happen," he added.
Blincoe shared the testimony made by a woman named Layla who fled Fallujah together with her husband and children, and said that sometimes, God reveals himself to Muslims through visions.
"They fled on foot, losing ground to the upcoming cloud of the enemy cars and trucks heading their way when, to their great surprise, a pickup truck slowed down and stopped and [the driver] said, 'Get in the back,'" he said.
At the refugee camp, he said, "God gave this woman, Layla, this vision of a man who would tell her about Jesus. That happens, I'm not going to say 'often', but it's often the entry into people hearing from the Lord. That fellow...was distributing goods and he came to her house the next day and offered to open up the Bible with them."
But now, Blincoe said, "the real contest for the soul of Iraq begins."
"We have a sense that we are on the frontlines of the free world. That everything depends on winning the people that have been displaced by ISIS, them going back to their homes, and winning those parts of Iraq where no missionaries can set foot," he said.
A number of such stories have emerged out of the Middle East, where former Muslims, disillusioned by the violence and unrest perpetrated by Islamic extremists, are moved by the love and compassion shown by Christians.
One ministry leader in the Kurdish Region of Iraq told Christian Aid Mission there has been "a great Christian "awakening" among the Muslims in the region, adding that he has personally witnessed many such conversions.
"People are very hungry to know about Christ, especially when they hear about miracles, healing, mercy and love," he said, as reported by The Gospel Herald.
The ministry director said the Muslims in their camp have witnessed the brutality of ISIS militants carrying out beheadings and other horrific acts in the name of Allah.
The director said his ministry has been swamped with Iraqi Muslims seeking to know more about Christ and the Bible.
"As terrifying and horrifying as ISIS is, they did us a great favor because they came and have shown them all the killing, saying that it's all in the Quran verses. So now we don't have to say much, we just say the truth," the director