Tag Archives: Syrian refugee crisis

Refugees Find Community through the Church of God in Germany

Ken & Keli with extended family of John & Rhonda in their home.

Over the last couple years, the Church of God Disaster Relief fund has provided matching funds to the German national church to support strategic refugee initiatives launched by local German congregations in response to the refugee crisis there. At the invitation and hospitality of the German Church of God, Ken and Keli Oldham (Global Strategy) were able to follow up with a few of these ministries this summer. They witnessed the German church developing significant relationships with refugees as they have sought not just to serve their needs, but to include them into their fellowships. Continue reading

Church of God in Canada, Germany Partner to Help Refugees

canada_girls_with_refugee_girls2016_forweb

Photo: Cultural differences fade when Christ is in view.

By Audrey Weiger

“You fear that which you do not know.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

The Three Worlds team in Europe and the Middle East entered into a partnership to help German Church of God congregations ministering to refugees. They brainstormed ways to make this partnership happen and decided to connect Glamorgan Church of God in Calgary, Canada, to the Bad Segeberg Church of God in Bad Segeberg, Germany.

Standing there nervously at the airport, not sure what to expect, I waited. Texts were flying back and forth—it felt a bit like I was meeting a blind date. But really I was waiting on the ministry group to arrive from Calgary, Canada. Continue reading

Disaster Relief: Europe’s Refugee Crisis

SyrianCrisis_graphic2016_FORWEB

By Stephen Lewis

Around our world today, 1 in every 122 humans is either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. It may well be the greatest humanitarian crisis that the world has seen. The conflict in Syria alone has displaced 12,000,000 people, half of whom are children. Of these, 7,600,000 are displaced within Syria; more than 1,000,000 are in camps in Turkey; another 1,000,000 are in camps in Lebanon; and nearly 1,000,000 have made their way to Europe. Continue reading

European Refugee Crisis: From Strangers to Family

By Audrey Weiger

“We boarded a rubber boat and went out in the night. After just ten minutes, we had to turn back because the waves were so high. I tried again, on another rubber boat. We were just an hour from our destination when a battleship arrived. We quickly crossed over their path to get out of the way. Then flood lights were on us and four masked men with machine guns dropped down in a black boat. They came to us; got in our boat. We were terrified. They kept shouting at us to put our hands up and don’t move. Then they opened our boat’s engine and cut all the power and gas lines and left. We were just floating there until we could get through to the Turkish coast guard to come and rescue us. I tried again, on another rubber boat, but during the day. But the same thing happened. A battleship and its men stopped us. So, I took out a loan—2,500 Euros—to buy a place on a big ship to take me. And finally, I made it.”

Late night—it’s past midnight and I sip chamomile tea and talk with Syrian refugees about their faith in Christ and what has sustained them. One young man speaks passionately, “Because there was no justice on the earth, God sent Jesus to give us justice. Heaven was shaking when Jesus came. But the earth was not awake to receive him.” It’s inspiring to speak with those who have lived so much life in such a short amount of time. Continue reading