|Posted by stevem on December 10, 2015 at 10:25 AM|
By Melissa Fraser
Every Monday SEND has a team that goes to the northern border of Macedonia and Serbia where we hand out fruit and tea to the refugees passing through.
Here is an article that I have written that explains what we do:
Every day thousands of refugees enter the country of Macedonia, only to leave merely hours later. SEND Macedonia has the opportunity of engaging with these people for a small window of time during their stay. Every Monday SEND team members arrive at the camp in Tabanovce at the northern border of Macedonia with vehicles loaded with 400-500 kilos of apples and supplies to make hot tea. On a typical day we will see one or two trains full of people (from 500 to 1500 people per train) arrive at the camp, as well as a steady stream of refugees arriving by bus or taxi. We have a few minutes to interact with the refugees as we hand out apples and tea, and then the refugees are on their way again, beginning the four kilometer walk to the next mode of transportation in Serbia. Throughout the day we see many families with young children, young adults, and grandparents, all making the difficult journey towards a better life. Some of them know where they want to go, others do not; some are looking forward to new opportunities in a new land, while others have no hope for the future. We sometimes have the opportunity to visit with the English speaking refugees and get to hear a piece of their story: where they are coming from and how their travel have been. We hear stories of people fleeing from war-torn places who are struggling through this difficult journey. It is in this small window of time that we hope to show the refugees a glimmer of the hope and love that we have in Christ. Each day as we serve we are reminded that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Jesus; Matthew 25:40).
On one particular day, we had a time that was a bit slower and Andy (a SEND team member) and I had the opportunity to walk with a family and carry some of their bags for a bit on the way to Serbia. The mother in the family spoke great English and she shared with us some about her family and the reason they left Syria. It was heartbreaking to hear the chaos and turmoil that their country has become, and it was hard to hear how matter-of-fact she was about their circumstances - the tragedy has become the norm. It was sad to hear her lack of hope for the future, as she was convinced that she was leaving the best country and the only place her children could have a hope. Andy and I tried to bring her some encouragement and our prayers are that she will find herself in a place where she can have hope and joy in her circumstances and that there will be people who will continue to encourage her and her family in their new life.
You can donate here: https://www.ammado.com/community/170348