Skip to Content

2023, Greece:

Lesvos 2023 – Day One: Do Not Worry

While we are actually four days into our trip, today was our first full day working at the All4Aid Center. We spent the first two days traveling to Lesvos, arriving on the island in time for dinner Saturday night. On Sunday, we went to church, worshipping with people from all over the world, including a group of people living in the camp who come from Ethiopia. Then, we spent the afternoon touring a bit of the island, getting to know our host, and preparing for our first day at the center.

Today, we received a brief training before dividing up to do various jobs including hospitality, operating the shower room, and spending time with the women and children who come to the center to receive services. A few members of our team helped sort clothes and prepared to open the store tomorrow. We are rejoicing that the center will open both the clothing closet and the food pantry for the first time in two weeks now that there are volunteers available to serve. These resources, where the beneficiaries are able to come and redeem tickets in exchange for necessities, such as pantry items, clothing and shoes, as well as some kitchen items, help to supplement the limited goods they receive from the Greek government. For reasons beyond what can be addressed in this post, refugees coming to Lesvos do not have access to some of the basic items they need to survive on the island. The center serves a s a refuge and a resource for refugees to feel welcomed and cared for in Jesus’ name.

A beautiful feature of the pantry and the clothes closet is that refugees can schedule an appointment to come in and shop in a fully stocked environment, four women at a time, in a well organized space where they feel they are the first shoppers of the day. We are excited to open the shops tomorrow!

After we finished for the day, our team took a tour of Camp Moria, which until 2020, was the largest refugee camp in Europe until it burned down in October of that year. It was sobering to see the devastation and rubble left over from a camp that once housed more than 20,000 refugees at its peak in a space that was meant to hold about 2,000. Refugees now live in a newly built camp a couple miles away called Mavrovouni.

Finally, each night, our team reflects on the day, prompted by a devotional that has been prepared in advance. Tonight’s passage, Luke 12:22-34, was timely. In Luke 2:22, Jesus says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”

We all had quite a laugh for God’s timing of tonight’s verse. We are still waiting for three more suitcases to arrive that contain personal items for two of our team members as well as several supplies being donated to the center, including 50 bras for the shop. We giggled yet are convicted that God knows right where the luggage is, and he’s still providing as we share our things with each other as well as purchase the needed items for the center. We are also humbly reminded that in the overall scheme of things, our lost luggage is a minor inconvenience compared to the losses of those we have come to serve.

We thank you for your prayers and look forward to sharing more about what God is doing at the center throughout the week.


Picture of food pantry