Dear Families of our Alpenländische Missionaries-
The world is an ever shifting and changing place. This has been foretold by prophets in accordance with God’s plan and we see it each day as we watch the news.
I know there are concerns and questions regarding the recent migration of people fleeing their countries and seeking refuge in Europe. This is having a particular impact on Germany and Austria, and it is at this point unclear what impact this might have on the Church and missionary work.
The Church at the very highest levels is concerned both for these people seeking safety as well as for the well-being of missionaries. Policies are being evaluated and shaped, and instructions given on how we help these people and continue to carry out the purpose of helping others come to Christ.
The people living in the countries of our mission have largely been very welcoming and understanding to the plight of these refugees. Efforts are being taken to make their arrival and transition efficient and smooth. These people are being cared for in specific areas where they can be properly registered and cared for, and they are not roaming at large on the streets.
Where appropriate, our missionaries are allowed to provide service with local organization, such as the Red Cross, in handing out food and clothing. When they are participating in such activities they are not allowed to proselyte. They are also not allowed to proselyte in government sponsored housing, camps, or shelters.
During their normal course of activities, missionaries may engage people in conversations and teach them the gospel, however, instructions have been given on what areas they should avoid, what kinds of things to watch out for, and our mission emergency plan is being reviewed by all missionaries.
Generally these people are very kind and seeking a better life. They are coming from a place where Christianity was not prevalent and they are very curious about a different belief and what it can do for them. In addition to taking care of their physical needs, with time there will be great opportunities to also help them with spiritual growth. While it is true that people in desperate situations might do desperate things and that there may be some who mean harm by coming in under cover, we will take all precautions we can to watch out for the welfare of our wonderful missionaries. I have a testimony that these missionaries are here at this specific time for a reason and that the Lord is watching out for them.
We love your missionaries, appreciate their service, and are grateful for your faith and prayers. May the Lord continue to bless you and your families.
Präsident and Sister Kohler