What should our attitude be towards the current European immigrant crisis? And how can OM respond to this situation?
Is this a new crisis? It’s certainly one that everyone is talking about: hundreds, thousands of people fleeing war, crossing oceans and countries to reach the “safe havens” of Western Europe. We’ve certainly not seen anything quite like this before, at least for a long time!
But in one sense, of course, all true Christians are refugees. As citizens of the kingdom of God, they live out their lives in a foreign land, alienated more and more from the values of those surrounding them. Just like Paul, their hearts draw them towards another
country where they feel at peace, close to the king, forever in the presence of their saviour. They no longer live “at home”.
Jesus knows what it is like to be rejected. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1v11). Like a foreigner in a world created by his Father, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. How can we not therefore empathise with those who have to leave house and home, wandering to find a refuge for their families and loved ones?
OM is responding in different ways. Our teams in Greece, Montenegro and Hungary seek to offer a rapid concrete response. Our “Safe Passage” programme provides basic needs at the points of entry: information, water, food, basic necessities. Elsewhere teams continue to develop official and unofficial projects amongst refugees and asylum seekers.
In France we meet such people in Nantes, Paris, wherever our teams reach out to people in need through literacy programmes or other initiatives. Pray with us, that through our limited capacities we may nonetheless be guided by the Spirit to impact the lives of those who are caught up in a crisis of such unexpected proportions.