Hope in the Midst of the Refugee Crisis

Hello there!

Many of you have attentively followed the current refugee crisis underway in Europe today. You may be well aware of surreal claims such as “the largest refugee crisis since World War 2” or alarming statistics such as 15,000 refugees arriving daily at the shores of Greece and Italy. You may have also become visually bombarded with pictures and videos of untold loss and tragedy.

From the rumble of crisis, a great measure of kindness, mercy and good deeds has also emerged. Thousands of private individuals, government agents and social workers/volunteers have donated unimaginable amounts of time and resources to assist those suffering the most. It is easy to lose hope when reports and news bites focus on astronomical statistics of loss and grief. However, individuals are indeed being impacted by small acts of kindness. This entry aims at casting a ray hope in a time of crisis. Here’s a single example of how individual lives are being impacted.

While serving at a local refugee camp, I met a nervous 17 year old Afghan who had been separated from his family. Without much information from local officials, he mistakenly took a bus to the wrong camp. We met as he nervously paced around camp fearing he was going to miss the night bus bound for Macedonia with the rest of his family that same day. I introduced myself to him, sat down, got him some tea and tried to understand his situation in broken English. With no way to contact his family and as government options to reunite him with his family failed, the solution was to drive him across town to the right camp. It was a long shot since evening was fast approaching and he did not know if they would still be at the camp. But underway we went. In the car he shared a bit of his 23 day journey, how his whole family had walked for days crossing Iran and Turkey to catch an inflatable boat to Greece in the hope of a better future. After such a long journey, he was afraid of getting lost from his family and being left behind in a strange land. His fear turned to elation as we pulled up to right camp and he saw members of his family waiting for him at the gate. Elation turned to tears as he thanked us for uniting him with his loved ones again. This family heads to Macedonia tonight with all of its members hoping to eventually reach Germany.  

Over 60,000 refugees came into Greece last week alone. That’s more than all of 2014 combined. With such high numbers, many families get separated and some are never reunited. Thank you for your prayers and support as we try to reverse this trend. Here are some pictures of our most recent encounters.

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