Emmanuel Koney lives in the Bijlmer, a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Amsterdam, where he pastors a Ghanese church and ministers among refugees. People who are illegally in the country and have nowhere to go, he lovingly takes into his own house. “As a follower of Jesus I have the ministry of love… I’m passionate to bring harmony and peace among the people,” he says. In the Bijlmer everyone knows pastor Koney as someone you call on when you’re in trouble. He’s committed to see every Ghanese immigrant get out of crime and involved in the church to make a positive difference for others.
Several years ago Koney took the initiative to host open conversations in his church between the African community, the police and the immigration and naturalization service, where everyone who felt treated badly could frankly speak out and receive an honest answer from the authorities. A daring approach as many refugees distrust the police. Koney taught the police that Africans are passionate and not always aggressive. He challenged the refugees to respect and support the police.
He encouraged the pastors in the area to commit to advance peace, safety and harmony among the inhabitants. “When we do nothing, we disadvantage our neighbourhood,” he said. The active engagement of the Christians and the partnership with the police made all the difference. Crime went down in the area, women got out of prostitution. Today the Bijlmer is home to hundreds of thriving immigrant churches.
Source: Joel News International
BIBLE STUDY: John 4:35-36
PRAISE: God for this pastor who stands in the gap for the immigrant community and shows the love of Jesus. Pray the light of Christ may shine in Bijlmer.