In 2009, Chris met Dilan. 

In his home country, Dilan had faced harassment and surveillance by the government because of his religious and political beliefs. When his family started receiving death threats, he fled to Thailand with his wife, infant daughter, and mother-in-law.

Living in Thailand as strangers far from home, they faced hunger, homelessness, and fear of detention. When money ran out, Dilan and his wife planned to pawn their wedding rings to pay the next month’s rent.

When Chris heard Dilan’s story, he remembered the scripture:

By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
— 1 John 3:16-17

Impassioned to love their brothers and sisters in need, Chris’s church opened their hearts to Dilan and his family for the rest of their time in Thailand.

In March of 2011, Dilan and his family were able to leave Thailand – with their wedding rings – and started a new life in Europe.

The experience of embracing Dilan and his family was so powerful that Chris’s church started reaching out to more refugees.

Chris saw the impact of friendship and wanted to give more people the opportunity to love refugees, so he founded Life Raft International. Since Chris met Dilan, hundreds of people and churches around the world have given thousands of refugees the hope of a new life.