A challenge: refugees in Europe
The refugees in the park in front of the train station in Budapest, where asking for something to sleep on, the concrete is so hard,
and also some medicine, the scabies are so itchy,
and also some water, the hot weather was nearly unbearable and dried them out, especially the little children and nursing mothers.
The police refused to let the children use some chalk to draw there stories and sadness and maybe hopes or dreams on the streets.
This gave a clash with Hebr. 13:2
Keep on loving each other as brothers.
Do not forget to entertain/show hospitality to strangers,
for by so doing some people have entertained/showed hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Don’t we all prefer to look the other way. And I have to say, that it seems far from my bed. I don’t see anything here in our lovely safe village Randwijk.
We arrived in Budapest around the 20th of August and I didn’t want to think about refugees. I said to myself, keep focussed, you are here for the Roma and that is your goal, so ignore it. But there was no way. The churches were reaching out, doing shopping and our friends, (one of them also has been a refugee in the Yugoslavian war, and is very heartbroken for the refugees) were helping and asked me to go with them to do shopping. Jelle encouraged me to go, so I went.
And it was good. It was not nice, but it helped me to face reality. I saw their list of needed articles and with every thing that came into their carriage, I emptied my carriage and put something back.
Interesting how adaptable your desire of need for something can be when you face some one else situation.
Tens of thousands of refugees are passing through Budapest and Vienna and other major cities in Europe.
Fleeing from war zones, as Syria, fleeing for IS or comparable dangers. We didn’t see them in Osijek, but we heard that refugees from the Balkans are also joining the crowd to find a place in Northern parts of Europe. What we are currently facing in Europe is huge and complicated.
Angela Merkel from Germany said:
Greece is a big problem, but the issue about the refugees is enormous.
According to official figures 340.000 people tried to enter Europe in the first 6 months of 2015, almost 3 times as many as in the same period last year. In Vienna alone some 1700 children arrived without their parents. Even while I was writing this blogpost we heard the news about two boats filled with 500 people who sank near the Libyan coast.
At the time that the Euro top had a meeting to deal with this problem, they got this news: a truck filled with 70 people who didn’t survive the journey and are stuck -and not alive anymore- for more than two days. Standing at the side of the highway betweem Budapest and Vienna.
Strange that we know the place. We drove there less than two weeks ago. Dead woman, man, children, mams, dads…
And the sad story continues.
And where is God in all this?
Can it be that the past few years, were just the beginning of something- yet to come-? And that God has been preparing a way for what is to come?
Let us be eager to hear and see how God is working through all this, and unfolding His way in our time of history.
Can it be that it was God and His Holy Spirit to put it in people’s heart to set up International Churches as we have seen them appearing in many major cities in the Netherlands in the past ten, fifteen years. (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Veenendaal, Wageningen, Apeldoorn…..) and that the time is coming now to serve in a yet deeper, more complicated way than ever before? May God bless you!
Can it be that an organisation like Gave in the years ahead gets a workload, that is beyond our imagination now? May God bless you and prepare the team!
Let us pray for churches and organisations who are reaching out, helping churches to deal with the people who are refugee. May we all get the wisdom to act wisely and with justice, love and dignity.
Let us pray that we never forget that all these millions of people have a face and a story to tell. And let us also not forget the people who they had to leave behind. Who didn’t even make it this far till Europe.
Let us pray for ourselves, and our role in this, in whatever -may seem- insignificant way.
Ethiopian Christians worshipping in a makeshift church in Calais: pictures.
When believers in the first century after Christ birth were persecuted, they spread out widely over the world. And with them, the Gospel.
Can it be that God is doing something now, to let the refugees spread out over the world, and that God’s Kingdom comes in yet another way?
Can it be that this refugee issue is the test for the church in the West to show what value’s we aim for?
Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name
Let Your Kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Let Your will be done,
and give all the refugees their daily bread,
Forgive our sin, as we forgive those who have sinned against us,
and do not lead us into temptations,
but deliver us from evil.
Yours is the Kingdom,
Yours is the Power
and the glory,
Want to watch something related: The Good Lie movie
Want to read something related: Elisabeth Musser, Aan de andere kant van de bergen
Want to know what our personal contribution can be? I hope that we all are a Mevrouw Van Schaik for the refugees in our own seemingly insignificant way.
-thanks to Jelle who helped me putting this blogpost together-