Ministry Update

Refugees at the border

On Friday night, I set out to join other Christian volunteers at the border where Hungary meets Serbia. This is one of the major routes where refugees have been entering Hungary as they flee war in their home country. As we came closer to the border via highway in the dark of night, you could see a hazy orange glow in the direction of the makeshift refugee camp.

Tonight, we partnered with Operation Mobilization (OM) and planned to be in their tent they had set up the previous night. Our initial entrance into the area was blocked as police informed us that this would be the main route of buses going in and out all night. In previous nights, refugees were crossing the border at night and would have to stay over night before transportation was given to the official processing center. As the deadline for new stricter laws for incoming refugees is set to change Wednesday, it was clear they expected more to be crossing over in mass and needed to process them more quickly.

We took a back way to weave our way toward the camp area. It was there that we passed a gas station where groups of vehicles lined up to smuggle refugees exploiting their needs and asking a high price. Moving on, we finally approached our destination. We began to see groups of refugees walking away from the camp. We began seeing piles of abandoned supplies, clothes, tents and trash. We made our way to the OM tent maneuvering on muddy ground through piles of supplies. Thankfully, there were far more volunteers this night with larger tents from various organizations set up on the main road that approached the railroad tracks that refugees used as the entrance to Hungary.



Above: Relying on generators for power for lights and to heat water for the night.


Above: The blue and white striped OM tent would be our distribution center for the night.


Above: Volunteers making simple sandwiches for those coming in through the night.

Praise God that there was no rain and the weather was warmer than the last few nights. We began unloading supplies and the ministry began of just helping where you saw any need. Sometimes that was just lifting something heavy, or shining light on piles of clothes so that refugees could get a better look to find what they needed. Sometimes that would be serving hot coffee and tea and expressing compassion and praying for those who are in despair.



One man I talked to had just crossed the border and anxiously asked, “Where are the busses taking the people?” The last time he was put on a bus, he was thrown into jail. He told me how much he loved Syria, and was so broken about the war. As he talked to me, he would often pause trying to contain his sadness and looked in shock. He allowed me to pray for him and expressed his gratitude for our kindness. Another man that I spoke to was with his family in the OM tent. All of his family was sleeping but he remained awake.


When I continued to encourage him to get some rest and that he was safe here, he said, “I no sleep for 5 days. I walk and walk.” He pointed to the group laying on the floor, “This my family. This my friend. I no sleep. Security. Security.” I can't imagine the state of their bodies and the amount of stress they are under. One of his family members was this small child pictured below. He got our attention and said to us, “Picture, picture” as he was waking up and he gave him a bit of sugar in his mouth.


God has not only put the refugees on my heart in these places, but also the police that are there to maintain peace and order. As I watch the news, the police are often given a bad wrap and the worst cases are shown as the only cases. I also sought this night to minister to them as well as the refugees. When passing by the officers, I would often say, “Thanks for your hard work”. They rarely receive encouragement.






Above: A shot from the railroad tracks. In the distance a new group of refugees arrives and in fear needs to be encouraged that it is safe to find some food, blankets and other supplies needed.



Later in the night, in small groups we would take out hot water containers and cups with premixed coffee to distribute where the refugees were lined up by police to be transported. The refugees were on our left in a tight line and the police on our right with their backs to the line of busses keeping order. With a bright flashlight shining, it was as if we parted them walking in between and brought a bit of compassion to both the police and refugees as we moved through.




Buses continued to move the refugees out throughout the night as the number coming in died down around 3:00 am. We are not certain what will become of this crisis in the upcoming weeks and months heading into winter. We ask you to continue to pray. This is a great need and we as the body of Christ should be on the front lines helping. Please pray that this journey may be a journey where they encounter Him and His love and His truth so that they find citizenship in His kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.
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