This week, as we identify with the losses our refugee neighbors have faced, one missionary shares a story of hope breaking through in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, is an incredibly dark place. Built in a former prison, it has become home to over 6,000 refugees from Syria, Congo, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq and many more countries. About one third are women, one third children and one third men.
There are so many refugees flooding in that they have spilled over into the surrounding olive grove, tents propped under the trees with no other facilities. Most are living in squalid conditions as they try to recover from their past. They have spent thousands of dollars and risked their lives along the refugee highway to make it to this island. They are searching for refuge.
The burdens they carry are great: depression, PTSD, anxiety, anger, sleeplessness, flashbacks, and physical and mental scars that remind them every day of the darkness in this world. They wait months for asylum interviews that determine their future. And the psychologists are overwhelmed with the enormous needs.
This week, they stopped taking patients.
Yet, the light of life, Jesus, is shining in this dark place. Volunteers serving in his name bring life and hope to the broken refugees.
I witnessed the power of his light overcoming the darkness in Moria this Advent season.
A 3-year-old boy arrived from Syria with his father. He had a seizure on the boat, and his terrified father brought the boy to our medical cabin. He had been unconscious most of the day following the seizure. I could see the fear and worry in his father’s eyes as I spoke to him and heard the story. Then I asked him the boy’s name, sat on the bed next to him, rubbed his chest gently and called him by name. He dramatically sat up, smiled and reached out to his father!
The powerful love of our Father broke through the darkness in this family that night.
May you be filled with the light of life this season as we wait for Jesus’ coming.
By a missionary with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission)