Being Hands and Feet: Refugees in Greece

It seems as if you can’t do anything on-line any more with out seeing something about the problems going on in the world. At times it feels so bad that I just want to curl up in a little ball and block everything out. Do you know what though? We are called to be Jesus’s hands and feet and that cannot be accomplished while wrapped up in our own little corner of the world.
Right now I have a dozen or so friends on the little island of Lesvos in Greece where thousands of refugees are pouring in. Many of the refugees arrive soaking wet and with no possessions. They are cold, exhausted, sad, and terrified. They have left behind death and destruction and in many cases family members. Volunteers are working around the clock shifts so that these, now homeless, people can be greeted with warmth, care, and God’s love. I asked a couple of my friends if I could use their pictures on Noveltea and they kindly agreed. 

Even though you might feel powerless to help while looking at these pictures, please remember that you’re not. You can pray for them. You can support others who are going to help. You can donate supplies or money. My sister and uncle are heading over to Greece at the beginning of December to serve for several weeks and even though I can’t personally go, I am excited to be able to make a difference. Instead of giving Christmas gifts to my family and friends here in the states this year, I’ll be giving money that will help buy blankets and food and supplies for these refugees. We are not helpless, we are not powerless. We are called to be God’s hands and feet and that is an honor. 

{When the people arrive} we guide them to a safe place to dock and form a human chain to help them up the steep bank. On this raft there were about 50 people. Multiple families with a total of 26 children, 18 of which are under 2 years old. I have the privilege of getting my feet wet and being at the raft taking their outstretched hands and helping them to safety. Babies are passed to me and I hold them close, try to quiet those that cry and smile at ones that don’t have a care in the world. One little boy, no older than 2, is handed to me and cries in fear as I hold him while his mother gets out of the raft. He is terrified and his eyes seem full of fear. I wonder what all he has experienced in his short life. (From B.) 

 …and their journey continues. We give them directions to a camp which is a 3 hour walk. Yes, it’s far but to them it’s not too difficult. They are happy to be safe, free and walk through the mountains without the fear of being terrorized with guns, hostility or discrimination. (From B.)

These two families were transported to a camp. However, most of them walk because we’re not able to transport them or bring a bus to this location since it is quite isolated. (From B.) 

Our friends have told us stories of freezing nights and not enough blankets to go around. Of hotel owners who’s businesses have been ruined by the lack of tourists who, instead of getting angry at the refugees for driving their business away, have given them everything: their own food, clothing, shelter. Of the mixture of beauty and pain, of joy and sadness, of hope and hopelessness. 
Last night Abby and I carried in a young Afghani girl who had fallen
into the water. It was pitch dark when they crossed and she was soaked to
the skin and so cold she couldn’t talk. I got her dry, covered her in blankets, and tried to rub some feeling into her feet. She couldn’t talk, but she leaned up and kissed my face. Her dark eyes held trauma I can’t describe in words. 
There are babies a few days old, toddlers trying to keep up, old women laden with bags– all running from war and destruction. There is no way to help them all at once so we strip the wet children and babies and get them dry. 
But, I must add that it is not all rush and crying. There are beautiful moments of laughter and chasing balloons with the children. When the camp settles down we have time to sing, ” Jesus’ love is bubbling over,” and watch tired faces smile. 
We are working with volunteers from all over the world…and it is beautiful to be a part of working together for a common cause. Samaritans purse, MAF, World Race, and YWAM, just to name a few. (From K.)

These might be nameless faces to us, but they are real people. They have lost so much. They have left behind everything. They are running in fear, looking for hope, searching for peace. They need help and we have the ability to aid them.

Please pass on the word, help these people, share God’s love with them, pray for them. We are called to action. Now that we know of the problem we cannot sit and do nothing and remain guiltless. I consider it an honor to be able to help these people, to be a link in a chain that shares God’s love and hope with them.

Her name is Hannan. Look into her eyes for a moment. She is Yazidi, from Sinjar, Iraq. She was there when Islamic extremists raged through the city and brutally killed her two sisters, taking their bodies with them. She traveled all the way to Turkey with her parents, only to find out they did not have the money to all get onto the rafts to get to Europe. At the border, she said goodbye to her mother and came with her father across the rough water to Lesvos.
This is where I found her tonight as we waited for the bus to arrive. It was a cold night, and she huddled close to her Father. Big tears rolled down her little brother’s face. His father said, ” He remembers his mother.”
I looked into her eyes after I heard her story and she smiled, all snuggled up on my lap. I sat there trying to imagine what is running through her small mind. War, death, heartbreaking goodbyes, dangerous waters, and the long road ahead as they travel through Europe without their mother.
Let’s look into her eyes, my friends. God forbid we turn our face. Lets look into her eyes and let her heartbreak break our own heart. 
(From K.) 

Does our worship have hands,
Does it have feet?
Does it stand up in the face of injustice;

Does our worship bow down,

Does it run deep?

Is it more than a song that fades with our voices?

Does it fade with our voices? – J.Gray

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