Wet and Cold
There is a quiet unrest here in Lesvos. It has been a bit surreal to be here knowing that literally a little more than a stones throw from where we have been eating and sleeping over the past couple days people have been and presently are arriving in dingy’s and boats to flee oppression. Being here we can truly feel how this quaint, sleepy little island has been enveloped by this global crisis, and this has impacted us with more then we can process on the spot.
We started our day by walking as a team up a road to a vantage point overlooking a stretch of the Aegean Sea where many of those fleeing the Middle East have come over in rafts and boats. We prayed for those who were either preparing to come across or already enroute and asked God to protect them. We also lifted up volunteers who would be searching for and aiding the cold, wet refugees and migrants throughout the day. As we prayed we could hear the clangle (if that isn’t a word it should be) of sheep bells behind us as a local shepherd moved his flock across the rocky hillside. At times he called to them to keep them where they should be. This reminded me of the Good Shepherd and how He cares for us, His flock. He is concerned about losing even one. My heart went out to those below us who were suffering and those who were serving, that they would hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and find the refuge that comes from being in His care.
Following breakfast Kim led us in a time of study where he pointed to Biblical examples of how God revealed himself to individuals through visions and dreams, and how this is happening more and more in the Muslim community today. It was encouraging to hear how God has been moving in the Muslim community and challenging to think that we are on the front lines to further bring the love of Jesus to the Muslims and other seekers that are landing daily on the shores of Lesvos.
Finally our moment to help out at a camp! Following lunch we all piled into the vans and set off to the Sikamineas camp. The rain that had started late morning had degraded to snow and the higher we climbed the mountain pass the worse the conditions became. Soon the conditions were deemed too dangerous to continue on and, somewhat reluctantly, we were forced to turn around. Once back at home base we did our best to regain our focus by spending a couple hours of concerted prayer and worship, lifting high our saviour and interceding for those caught in the midst of this desperate struggle. Our times of worship and prayer have been unifying and powerful over here as we have proclaimed truth and claimed victory in Jesus name!
Though we have yet to directly interact with any refugees or migrants and, even if we don’t get the opportunity to do so while we are here (though I am earnestly requesting of the Father that we do!), we are doing our best to care for the refugees, migrants, volunteers and Greek people by offering up prayers and petitions on their behalf. We have been reminded that the priority must be to see God’s will accomplished, not ours, and that we are meeting our purpose in being here so long as we are being obedient to do whatever it is that Jesus puts before us.
The situation over here requires that all God’s people be fervent in prayer. Just today two people tragically lost their lives today due to hypothermia. Please pray that refugees and volunteers would be protected from the elements. Pray for volunteers and aid workers in the camps and on the front lines that they would be protected from harm and wise in the decisions that they make. Pray also that our team would continue to be diligent in keeping our eyes open to the opportunities Jesus puts before us and that we would be undivided in seeing that His will is accomplished through us.
Watching my fellow team mates I am proud to see their flexibility and commitment to humbly serve where God has placed them. As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and serve wherever He puts us then we are acting out Matthew 25 and we have been faithful to what He has called us to. We are looking forward to serving over the next 5 days no matter what that looks like and we are doing our best to trust in the Father’s plan and to act in obedience to go wherever and to do whatever He puts before us.
In His grace,
Ken (and team)