Reaching out to refugees over Easter – Day 1 & 2

  • In NEWS
  • April 12, 2016
Reaching out to refugees over Easter – Day 1 & 2
Our trip to Athens, Greece (23rd-28th. March 2016) We wanted to spend Easter in a different way this year! An Easter we will never forget, and where Jesus as the only Saviour, has become even more alive in such surroundings. For five days, a team of 8 people from Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Germany had the privilege in cooperation with Mission-Net, to explore the refugee situation around Athens, Greece, and get to know the service of the Hellenic Ministries (HM, serving among the most needy in word and deed. Days 1 and 2: Exploring ministries who have accumulated 20-year expertise dealing with refugees The first two days were spent in getting to know the various centres run by HM where refugees are treated physically and spiritually. Refugees who have been in Greece for a few months already have the chance to get food, to attend various programmes including Bible discussions, can do their laundry and use the shower facilities in the men´s and women’s & children´s centres we have visited. Various doctors offer their services in addition. Next to this, we saw the delivery of 80,000 Bibles in Persian and Arabic languages and the production of Bible chips for phones. We can only imagine what an impact these will have. It was great to enter the men´s centre and see groups of Afghans and Iranians studying the word of God together. Afterwards, they received a delicious cooked lunch which we were also able to taste. At the Good Samaritan Centre for women and children, the “refugee friends” (as HM calls them), have the opportunity to receive English and Greek classes while the children have a safe environment to play in a wonderfully created childcare area. They also have the possibility to attend Bible discussion groups and meet like-minded people. We were totally impressed with the young leaders heading up such a challenging and diverse ministry. These volunteers see thousands of people in the various centres coming and going all the time (as Greece often only serves as the landing point). They know that, for most of the refugees, it is the first time they hear about God’s love. And then, from Greece, refugees travel and settle all across Europe so that the window of opportunity to share the Gospel with them is very short. The ones who have encountered God at the centres often stay in touch with the staff, and Skype is used to disciple many of them as they go on the journey of faith. The hope is for the creation of a Christian network across Europe so that new believers will be integrated into churches wherever they land eventually.

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