After talking about the quiet desperation of refugees earlier this month, I thought that it would be appropriate to share more hopeful stories. Here is an update from my teammate Tasha:
Hello from Greece! The past few weeks have been crazy here with the increasing numbers of refugee families needing help. It has been overwhelming seeing all the despair and hopelessness, but I’ve seen God move and bring glimmers of hope to people. I’d like to share a couple of stories of glimmers of hope ignited in the midst of darkness.
Last Saturday a teammate, Brett, and I sat with an Afghan woman and her husband in our office at the refugee center. As we were talking she lifted up her pant leg and showed me the entry and exit wound of a bullet hole. Her husband then had Brett feel a bullet hole in his leg. While the woman told us their story, the husband cried. One night the Taliban came in and shot her and then shot her husband twice. They fled to Iran where they made a decent living for themselves. Their lives were threatened once again by extremist in Iran so they took their children and headed west. The boat that was taking them went down in the sea and they lost everything. Luckily for them another boat was near and pulled them out of the water or they would have lost their lives too. They were sent to Athens by the police. They are living on the streets, only have the clothes they are wearing, and do not have food. We gave them some tickets to come to our Tuesday feeding, and for the first time I saw the woman smile. They said thank you numerous times, and I saw a glimpse of hope. Somebody loves them. Somebody cares. Pray they will come to see the depths in which Christ loves them.
This Saturday the refugee center was overrun with new refugee families. Every room was overflowing with people. Throughout the day I had ventured in and out of the office, each time noticing a couple of women sitting on chairs waiting for something. After a couple hours I went up to them and asked what they were doing. The older woman started crying saying she really needed help. I took her in the office so we could talk. She told me her son came to Greece four years ago trying to make a way for the family to come for a better life. She lost contact with him sixteen months ago and assumed he was dead. Two months ago she got a call from him. All he could say was he had been in prison for fourteen months and needed help. She sold things to get money, arranged for a smuggler, and arrived in Greece one week ago. She said, “I just got here. I don’t know the language, the city, or what to do next. All I want is to find my son. Everyone I talked to told me to come to you. Can you help me?” A Greek teammate of mine contacted a friend who is now looking for her son. She thanked us through her tears and hope was born. Pray that she will find her son and have their relationship restored. Pray also that she will find Christ and see all He went through to restore her relationship to Himself.
Thank you for loving these people in your prayers.