A child being helped with his homework in an integration project in Austria.

Are Christians really evil and dangerous?

A team member shares about her work at iPunkt, an integration project for migrant children from mainly Muslim background.

"What should I do? I am so evil," Zahra*, a girl from iPunkt, complained, "but I don't want to be like this! What am I supposed to do with all this evil?" I never imagined that such a little girl would already be asking herself such big questions. Zahra, however, seemed to take these questions completely seriously––as you could clearly see in her facial expression.

We could tell her about Jesus, that He wants to take all the evil away from her and paid for it on the cross. "But how can I give Him all the evil?" We showed her how she can talk to Jesus, that He always has an open ear for her. A week later, the girl approached me again with many questions. Hoping she would remember the last conversation, I asked her if she still knew to whom she could go with her guilt. "To Jesus! I already did that at home!" she replied with pride and joy.

Again and again, we have opportunities to tell the children about Jesus at iPunkt. After the extended Pentecost weekend, we told the children how we, as Jesus followers, celebrate these days and how the Holy Spirit was sent to earth. The next day, Ali*, Zahra's big brother, complained: "Why aren't we hearing a story about Jesus today? Yesterday we heard one too, didn't we? So why not today?" What a huge testimony to God's work in the hearts of the children.

Love makes the difference

Most of the children in the programme are from Muslim homes and more often than not, we hear statements like: "Christians are bad and evil people" or "Christians are dangerous." Looking into their confused and surprised faces when I tell them I am a Christian always brings a smile to my face. I see that I have completely overturned their image of a Christian. When I ask them if I am an evil, dangerous person, they just shake their heads and declare loudly: "No! You are not evil and certainly not dangerous!" Jesus gave His disciples the command in John 13:34-25: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (NIV). As staff members, we have the opportunity to pass on His love.

Recently, we were able to celebrate 15 years of iPunkt and give God all the glory for the past years. The children, their friends and families were offered a colourful programme with game stations, delicious food and reviews of the past 15 years. Jozef*, a 12-year-old boy who used to come to iPunkt, gave a speech in which he described to the guests how much he enjoyed going to the iPunkt and how precious this time was for him. I am immensely grateful to God for allowing me to be a part of this ministry.

*Name changed

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