Far From Home: Praying for Displaced People Groups

Family receiving clothes.
Displaced populations show remarkable resilience and strength despite many challenges. Will you join us in praying for diaspora people groups and those who come alongside them?

In this month’s Ministry Update, we focused on TEAM’s value of Creative Vision, and specifically the need to be flexible when serving in cross-cultural work. We heard from TEAM global worker, Samantha* how she has had to learn to hold her plans loosely in ministering to and serving alongside displaced Ukranian populations since the war began.  

Samantha is not alone. According to the International Organization for Migration’s 2022 World Migration Report, approximately 281 million people, or 3.6% of the world’s population, live in a country other than their country of birth. Of these, many live as expatriates due to war, political or religious persecution, natural disaster, or economic hardship.  

God has graciously allowed TEAM the privilege of coming alongside displaced people, sometimes called refugees or “diaspora” in multiple nations around the world. For this month’s Prayer Focus, we reached out to global workers serving diaspora populations and asked how we can pray. Here are 5 ways to pray for Diaspora Ministries:


1. First of all, PRAISE God for His goodness and provision for displaced peoples.  

TEAM workers shared many stories of how God has miraculously provided for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of families far from the comforts of home. One such story comes from Sara, a TEAM worker in the Czech Republic:  

“Alina* arrived in Czech Republic with her two young children. She is a believer and wanted to connect to a church. God has been incredibly good to her by providing a church family for her. The first eight months were difficult for Alina, as she watched her children growing up without their father. She knew God was providing for her, yet this was hard.  

Praise God – a few months ago, Alina’s husband was permitted to come to Czech Republic and be reunited with his family! Last week, they shared about Ukraine with our church. We had Ukrainian food and learned how we could pray. They also shared how incredibly good God has been to them.” 

Join us in praising God for being Jehovah Jireh to displaced people and families.


2. PRAY for creative ways to make connections with displaced people.  

When people find themselves living in a culture that is not their own, it can be difficult to know how to engage with others. TEAM worker Meg* likens this to a scenario we can all relate to – socializing during the pandemic. 

 “Remember when Covid regulations started and it was so confusing?” Meg asks. “Do we mask or not? Hug or not? Have a meal together or not? Doing work with diaspora peoples, in a culture that doesn’t belong to either them or us, is a lot like the confusion of Covid times. We are trying to fit into the host culture where neither of us really know the cultural norms and rules and it makes everyone a little nervous to engage. But it also gives us common ground!” 

Meg goes on to share that in her context, she’s found that inviting a group of people to share a meal together is more effective than just inviting one person or one family. This new dynamic leads to deeper conversation and more meaningful engagement.  

Pray for global workers as well as other believers to find creative and effective ways to engage with and care for displaced people.

Mom and daughter reading.

In addition to the trauma that many displaced people have experienced is the challenge of learning to find community in a new culture.


3. PRAY for people living indefinitely in the “in between.” 

Samantha says that in preparation for this Prayer Focus piece, she asked some of her Ukrainian friends what they would like prayer for. Most said the same thing, “Ask God to end the war.” For many refugees forced to flee due to war, persecution, or other dire circumstances, their greatest hope is that those circumstances will end so they can return home.  

And while we do plead with God to end war and suffering, there is also a tremendous need for displaced people to find strength, purpose, and hope in the present. “Those living far from home aren’t fully able to jump into life where they are because they’re holding on to what life was before the war,” says Samantha. “Many are living lives in suspended reality, not putting down roots where they are in hopes that they’ll be able to go home soon.” 

Pray for displaced people to be strengthened and encouraged while living in this “in-between” reality, and that those serving them will have much sensitivity, wisdom, compassion, and timely words from the Lord to share with them. 


4. PRAY for hearts to be softened to the truth of the Gospel.  

The Bible tells us that God always has purpose in our pain, and we see this so often in diaspora ministry. Through suffering and hardship, as well as through the love of Jesus displayed by those providing aid, many people are coming to faith in Christ.  

Sara shares the story of a Ukrainian family who survived an intense escape into the Czech Republic. They are not believers and in fact had a negative view of Christians. However, during their exodus from Ukraine, they took refuge in churches along the way. “They began to think differently about believers and were very grateful,” says Sara. She goes on to explain how God continues to pursue this family as He has provided accommodations for them as well as jobs for mom and dad, and a comfortable school environment for their son with disabilities.  

Pray for displaced people to experience the peace of Christ as promised in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 


5. PRAY for displaced Christians among the various diaspora groups.  

It’s important to remember that among the millions of displaced people around the world, many are already our brothers and sisters in Christ! They have the opportunity to not only trust the Lord with their own lives, but also to minister to those around them. Samantha says this is happening in amazing ways in her current context. 

“I’m a part of a small Ukrainian church that is trying to reach out to the 500,000 Ukrainians in Czech Republic, even as the pastor and church members themselves are refugees,” she shares. “Pray for wisdom to know how best to encourage and equip them as they reach their own for Jesus.”


*names changed for security reasons


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About the author

Suzanne Pearson

Suzanne has been a writer and storyteller for as long as she can remember. Before joining TEAM as Communications Manager, Suzanne worked for 17 years in marketing and communications in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Besides writing, Suzanne’s other passions include travel, sports and serving alongside her husband in youth ministry.

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