Since my first post about the situation in the Moria Refugee Camp this past February, following my first trip there, I have spent additional time there in March, May, July and three weeks this past October. One thing that is constant about the current refugee crisis in Greece is this: everything changes–month to month, week to week, day to day and sometimes hour by hour. When the camp was initially opened the plan was to house between 2,600 to about 3,000 people. This last week the totals went over 16,000!
There are plans to move more people from the islands to the mainland in the next few weeks but the crisis itself is far from over. With Turkey’s recent excursion into Syria there are threats from the Turkish government to release the 2.6 million official refugees in that country to go to Europe. So, as you can see the problem is still there and growing despite the silence from the mainstream media.
Each time I have been to Moria and spent time visiting with those in the camp listening to their stories, my heart breaks. It breaks because I realize the devastation they have been through in simply trying to find a safe place for their family. It breaks because of the realization that sin literally kills people. It breaks because of the separation of family members–husbands from wives, mothers and fathers from their children and the lack of knowledge of what happened to them. Are they still alive or have they been killed, did they make the trip to Europe or die along the way? It breaks because of a lack of hope that things will improve for them. Will they ever have a place other than a summer tent large enough for two or an isobox shared with other families in an overcrowded refugee camp? It breaks because they have become pawns sandwiched between governments, corrupt politicians and those who are making money off their suffering. It breaks because I know that without Jesus, there is no hope!
Here is a quick snapshot of hope on the faces of the refugees who have fled their home countries of Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc., because of persecution, war and terrorism. This group of refugees has just left Turkey in a rubber dinghy and is headed for what they think will be a safe haven in Europe.
What they haven’t realized yet is what awaits them once they land in “the promised land” of Europe. One organization with which we are beginning to partner is EuroRelief. Here is video which they have just released giving you a look inside the camp and at the lives of some refugee survivors.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Psalm 9:18 says this. “But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.”
For many years the church has been focusing its prayers on sending workers into the 10/40 window. As the Joshua Project describes it, “The 10/40 Window is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. The 10/40 Window is often called “The Resistant Belt” and includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.”
Over the last several years God has been sending the peoples in the 10/40 window to us. Unfortunately, we as the universal church, weren’t really ready. They are still coming but the window may shut at any time. We must be present with them–we must show by our lives and words that the only true hope lies in knowing Jesus Christ.
Will you be involved? How? By going–we need God’s people there demonstrating in person the love of Christ! Talk to us about going as individuals or as a church group. By praying–we need God’s strength daily to prepare us for the spiritual, physical and emotional battles of the day. By giving–to support the ministries and people who are there.
Thank you in advance for engaging in the battle with us!