Support for refugees in Greece
This summer in Germany, we are seeing how some private and public restrictions have been eased by the Corona pandemic. Unfortunately, however, we continue to face challenges in our humanitarian projects in other European countries due to the restrictions of the pandemic. So, new and creative ways have to be found to continue the work and to help people in need – especially because the pandemic is hitting these people particularly hard.
Helping Hands provides support for 20 years
‘Helping Hands’ in Athens has been providing support, assistance and evangelism to refugees in the Greek capital for 20 years. Even before the Corona pandemic, about 1,000 refugees came weekly to the Helping Hands center. They received a hot meal, could shower, wash their clothes, and were also invited to participate in various meetings and courses. After the meal together, the staff talked to the guests about the Gospel and many of them found Jesus. Because of the pandemic and the restrictions, Helping Hands now had to find alternative ways to meet and help the refugees.
Aid packages for refugees
For example, by appointment, they can pick up bags filled with food and hygiene items. Additionally they sometimes would receive a Bible in Farsi or toys for children at the center. As a rule, about 60 aid bags are currently passed on in this way each week. There are also online courses in which interested refugees can participate, such as a weekly Bible study for men and women groups.
Special easter event in Athens
The National Garden of Athens comes into special focus during this year’s spring and summer season, as small meetings or joint picnics can be held Corona-style and in the open air. Helping Hands had also made many preparations for the Greek Easter, which was celebrated this year in early May. In previous years, Easter was celebrated with a large communal meal at the Center. This year a whole new program was offered. Over four Easter holidays, 12 families per day were invited to the National Garden and were able to hear about the Gospel and its meaning in 30-minute intervals through small games and a video.
Deeply touched by Jesus
One woman who participated in the Easter experience in the park with her husband and two children was deeply touched as she learned even more about Jesus. She enthusiastically shared that she and her husband found Jesus while fleeing on the Greek island of Lesbos, and since then so much has changed in their lives and also in their marriage. They still had many questions about the Bible and the Christian faith and now both wanted to participate in the Bible study that Helping Hands offers.
New hope for refugees
There are many of these personal stories. It is wonderful to see how people with terrible experiences and traumatic experiences come to faith in Jesus. Their lives change although they still have to live under difficult circumstances. They have found new hope and a love from God they never knew before, which gives them strength. Through your donations it is possible to help refugees in Athens in their need and give them new hope. For this we say thank you!
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