N – No restrictions

For the extended version of this article, with reports from Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Austria, Germany and more, visit OM’s news website here.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Reports of the refugees arriving in Europe have crescendoed in the past weeks—thousands of people crowding into a Hungarian train station, spilling onto Grecian shores, crawling through Macedonian and Serbian processing points.

This is an open window to reach out, says Robert Strong*, leader of OM Netherlands who is coordinating OM Europe’s refugee response.

“In these months, when people are coming and crying out, having lost everything and searching for purpose, this is a time when God gives us an opportunity to share,” he stated. “We cannot look away when these things happen on our doorstep.”

A handful of OM teams, including those in Hungary, Macedonia and Montenegro, have catalysed immediate responses to the current crisis. And a developing project, OM Europe’s Safe Passage programme, will focus on meeting refugees at their initial entry points, providing information as well as water, food and essentials. Other OM workers in Europe simply seek to continue long-term initiatives, both official and unofficial, among refugees and asylum seekers.

 

While the response to the recent influx of refugees in Europe develops on a daily basis, OM teams in the Near East continue to pour funds and support into churches, projects and individuals involved with the four-year-old crisis. In Syria’s neighbouring countries, OM’s response includes practical aid distribution, income-generating projects at refugee camps, education initiatives, and short- and long-term teams dedicated to loving and discipling Syrians. Inside Syria, OM continues to work with established local partners, offering training and funds to equip them to survive and serve their neighbours.

With thousands of refugees immigrating around the world, and various governments accepting pleas to open their borders, OM seeks to respond, individually and corporately.

“Like us, these displaced people are created in the image of God,” said OM International Director Lawrence Tong said. “As Christians we have both a spiritual and moral obligation to help them. Their issues are our issues. I urge you to pray for them and their plight, and act with extraordinary courage and generosity to help these people settle into their new societies.”

To give to the OM ministries reaching out to refugees in Europe, or for information about how to get involved, please contact your local OM office.

*Name changed

Janet Weber, International Communications Director, OM International