“Then the LORD said to Joshua: ‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.’” – Joshua 20:1-3
In 2019, 30,755 refugees and migrants arrived on Greek shores. Under Greek law, new arrivals must be “processed” and receive paperwork before they can find asylum in Europe. In 2018, the average processing time between pre-registration and a first instance decision was 8.6 months.
“Since this has been going for several years and has [strained] the resources of Greece, the Greek people are not as welcoming of refugees anymore,” said AMG International President Tasos Ioannidis. “Initially when this was taking place, [people] were a lot more welcoming.”
Society’s rejection is a stark contrast to the love and kindness displayed by Christians in Greece. Whether it’s providing a warm plate of food or helping refugees fill out paperwork, each interaction provides a Gospel opportunity. “As they experience Christian love, they respond,” Ioannidis said.
“They (refugees) have experienced violence; they have experienced that rejection. Then, these people who – for no other reason [than] because they are followers of Jesus – show love to them.” Many refugees become Jesus' followers as a result.
Today in prayer, pray for the 69 million refugees and thank Christ that He is your refuge in this turbulent world.
“Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.” – Charles Wesley
God’s Word: “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:11-12