How missionaries are responding to the refugee crisis

Unrest in Syria has created an unprecedented wave of Syrian refugees and other people groups flooding into Europe where our missionaries are already aiding in the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are risking their lives to start anew. 

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria's immediate neighbors and most recently, they have risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean into Europe—with an estimated 800,000 heading to Germany to start a new life. 

Meeting basic needs at border camps
The Slovakia team traveled to the Hungarian-Serbian border where a temporary refugee camp had been set up. The missionaries returned to the border repeatedly to distribute food and water, warm clothes, diapers, and other supplies. They’ve also helped to clean up the camp and answer refugees’ questions. The team felt honored to be the hands and feet of Christ.  

The Slovakia team’s efforts are just one example of how MTW is serving refugees. We have workers and partners throughout Europe and the Middle East who’ve already poured their own resources into meeting the tremendous needs of displaced people. 

Serving alongside the local church
In Greece, the team is assisting local congregations of the Greek Evangelical Church as they reach out to arriving refugees. Ethnic Syrians arriving in Greece receive refugee status quickly and soon move on to other European countries. But refugees of other ethnicities, such as Afghans, Iraqis, and Iranians, have come ashore as well. Non-Syrians are considered economic migrants and are sent to makeshift camps. It is these people without status who missionaries and partner churches in Greece are seeking to assist and encourage.  

Helping with resettlement
The nation welcoming the largest number of Syrian refugees by far is Germany, with 5,000 to 6,000 refugees arriving daily. In a nation just half the size of Texas, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are living in container camps set up by the government. Our teams in Germany are helping refugees with the process of resettlement. 

Some of our other teams, especially those with experience in serving refugees from the Middle East, are designing a way for refugees to start new lives by providing translation, outreach, and training in the local language. They are assisting where needed, equipping other workers for effective service and ministry. Packets containing materials that tell of the great story of God’s love are being assembled to distribute as refugees transition from country to country. Arab and Farsi speakers are proving especially important. 

How you can help
We need your help to continue this good work. As you can imagine, there are many teams involved, and solutions are not simple. First and foremost, please pray. These refugees often escape one form of persecution and enter into another. Pray that they will be treated well by the country in which they are now living. Our other need is for funding to help us meet the needs of these refugees. Will you give of your resources to help Syrian refugees and those from other people groups hear the good news—and build truly “new lives”—at such a critical juncture?

You can donate online to the Refugee Project - #93942

in Disaster Response Mercy News on Nov 2, 2015

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