Orphan World Relief has had a two year relationship supporting refugee kids on the island of Lesvos in Greece. Our partnership with the Refugee Network and Euro Relief continues.
Currently, Euro Relief is requiring all volunteers to stay a minimum of one month. In the past we had a special arrangement allowing teams to serve for one or two weeks. That is no longer the case. As you can imagine, many of the people that have expressed interest in going back to Lesvos find it difficult to stay that long. Due to this requirement we do not have set times for teams to go. If you are able to go either as an individual or a team, please let us know and we’ll put you in contact with our Refugee Network partners.
After Moria burned down last September, several larger NGO organizations got involved in running the camp, so Euro Relief’s mandate is more limited. They are responsible for housing and are asked from time to time to do other things as well. Newly arriving refugees are kept separate until they complete their registration and quarantine. This past week 73 new arrivals came to Lesvos. Currently, there are about 8,700 refugees in all the camps on Lesvos. Most unaccompanied minors are sent to the mainland.
The ministry in Athens in partnership with the SC Southern Baptist Convention:
We are delighted to offer another option. An excellent ministry in Athens has established a church in Farsi language with refugees and they have invited Refugee Network to send or bring teams to serve with them. These teams are for one week! They offered several dates that fit their calendars. Three of those weeks are already filled but it is still possible to go December 4-11 of this year. Keep in mind that at this point the government ban on Americans does not make it possible to go there. We hope by April or May that restriction will be lifted along with the weeklong quarantine.
The ministry involves one-on-one ESL (English as a Second Language) and meeting refugees in the parks, building relationships and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, etc. Once the limit on gatherings is lifted the church can meet again! They teach wood working skills and other means to help refugees in Athens. The costs for this trip is $650 plus round trip airfare to Athens. If you are interested in this ministry, please contact Katie at the SC Southern Baptist Convention office (email@example.com).
Soon we Refugee Network is planning an exploratory trip to Europe where refugees are gathered. Their desire to be able to offer additional ministry options once the travel restrictions are lifted.