The Bible is replete with instructions on how we are to treat the weak, the oppressed, the stranger (refugee) in the land. Psalm 9:9 states that “the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” As millions of displaced people are risking their lives to leave their war-torn countries, God is calling us as a church to stand up and take notice.
In January, a team from Calvary went to Lesvos, a small Greek island off the coast of Turkey, to lend their aid to the hundreds of refugees landing there. One team member writes: “When we first saw the faces of these people — women and children, young teenagers, entire families — huddled together, our hearts broke into a million little pieces. Soaking wet and frightened, many came into the camp with nothing more than their phones and the clothes on their backs. We felt so privileged to offer them some hot tea and some warm rice. Giving them clean, dry clothes, holding their babies so they could take a moment to compose themselves, seemed like such small acts. But the gratitude and warmth with which these small acts of kindness were received will never be forgotten. Even though we couldn’t speak the love of Christ, we certainly felt that we could show the love of Christ!”
In April, we will once again be sending a short-term team to Lesvos to work in a refugee camp. Together with the Greek Evangelical Church and Greater Europe Mission, we will be extending the mercy and grace of our Lord by literally offering a cold cup of water in the name of Jesus. Please pray for this team, that they would be protected from the evil one, that they would demonstrate the love of Christ, not only to the refugees, but to the Greek nationals, and the international aid workers as well. Another team is being formed to go in June.
If you would like to support this team financially or contribute to ongoing refugee relief efforts through Calvary Church and our partners, locally and globally, you can write “Refugee Relief” on your offering envelope; text “refugee” to 616-294-0700 with the amount, or give online at mycalvarygr.org.