Yesterday, we joined the relief mission at the border with the team from the Evangelical Churches of Northern Greece. When we arrived, there were 20 buses in the cue, and I am guessing that in 5 hours, 2 – 3,000 refugees were served. It was non-stop mercy. I was standing around the WiFi and mobile charging station. An instrument song, “Amazing Grace”, was playing. A happy young man, (let’s call him “O”) asked me what was the name of the song. He liked the violin, because he plays the violin but “O” sold his own beloved instrument to escape Syria. Instantly, we became friends and we took this selfie. They were happy to go start a new life where bombs and bullets don’t threaten daily existence. I promised to prayer for them and they said thank you.
My station was at the clothes hand out. Men begged for shoes wearing flip flops. Others wanted jackets wearing t-shirts. Jeans, socks, underwear, and rain ponchos were in demand too all the afternoon until there was nothing left to hand out. The same, but not as much for the women and children. The crowd was pushing and grabbing the whole time that the team was searching the boxes and bags for items to match their needs. Then they moved on across the border and others came seeking something to help them along the way. All we could say was “no more” and “finish”. Wave after wave, the steady flow continues.
Others on the team passed out food, water, and other needs. It was amazing that they gave out all that they had and then there were not any more refugees waiting to pass. We packed up to leave as another team came to replace our team with fresh servers and supplies. It started to rain, and the border passage point was going to get messy. As we drove the 45 minute drive back to Thessaloniki, we saw more buses from Athens driving to the border.
This was the fourth border mission that I have joined since the beginning of September. I took Yosef from our church on the first mission. (He is MBB from Afghanistan under our ministry and we have been helping him for three years.) He came to help and translate. He saw everyone passing the border very freely and decided to leave also. After the second mission the following week, he left on a bus from Thessaloniki. One week later, he called us from Munich, Germany and he made it to a refugee center there.
Please consider participating by Praying, Giving, or Volunteering. Donations can be sent the Bishops’ Crisis Fund. Greece is partnering with Hungary. Simply specify, “Refugees in Hungary and Greece”. Thank you so very much …. The Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund
We have been praying about what to do and our part. We have no funds, few supplies, and already very full ministry schedules. Yet, when opportunity arises, the church should not be found lagging behind. Spontaneously, the Portugal Free Methodist Church was the first to send funds. Several teams from World Race Mission and YWAM are here and more are coming through the end of 2015. Out of the blue, believers in Derbyshire, UK found us on the internet. On October 16th, they will arrive with two large vans to unload in Thessaloniki. More partnerships are forming every moment. Refugees are noticing the love.
Likewise, in Athens Kali, our daughter, is spearheading the Green Light Project center in partnership with Salvation Army. They finally signed the contract for the three story location right next to the red light district. Even as the refugee crisis is overwhelming ministries in Athens. Salvation Army passes out everyday over 1000 sandwiches and other needs. Renovations of the rental property have begun. Two German YWAM craftsmen placed flooring in three rooms last week and plans are to make another trip on Monday to continue. This is a huge project that will take a long time. If you are skilled in remodeling and available, please consider coming to help. Please send contributions to Greece Country Shares. Click Here to Donate
Here are some more pictures.
May our Father God bring a new start to their lives. A great opportunity for spiritual transformation.