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Wagdi Iskander

Sudanese pastor understands Refugees

THEY COME from Sudan, Iraq, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to escape war, persecution and repression. Scattered in camps throughout Europe, the refugees need food, shelter and medical treatment. But most of all, they need hope.

An Edmonton pastor who fled his native Sudan 13 years ago to find a haven in Alberta is helping provide that hope to these refugees in Europe.

"When I tell them that I am a Christian, many of them say that since they have seen what Islam is really all about, they want to know more about Christianity," says Wagdi Iskander, who is pastor of two Baptist churches in Edmonton -- one Arabic and the other Sudanese.
Many Middle Eastern refugees in Europe arrive in Germany from Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

Every three months, Iskander makes the 7,200-kilometre trip from Edmonton to Germany to visit refugee camps. Working with Campus Crusade for Christ, he witnesses to people whose futures are uncertain. While some of the refugees are Christians fleeing religious persecution, others are Muslims.

"Immediately, I tell them that I was once a Muslim but I am now a Christian," he says. "They are interested in what we are doing." Iskander has formed Bible studies in refugee camps. In addition, he works at discipling and training converts to reach others for Christ. "I was once a refugee myself," he says. "I can relate to what they are going through."


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