‘I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes …’ (Matthew 25, GNT)
More than 2,000 refugees, most from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries in the conflict zones of the Middle East, are arriving in western Europe every day after weeks of hazardous travel. Bible Societies are among those responding to their needs.
Hungary is the first place in western Europe where many of the refugees arrive. Many of them find themselves trapped there. They have no money, no shelter and no money and are in desperate need of help.
The Hungarian Bible Society has responded to this crisis by launching an appeal for $10,000 to help it supply, between now and the end of the year, as many aid packages as it can. It hopes that it will be able to help at least 1,000 families. The packages, to be distributed at Hungary’s main train stations with the help of volunteers, will contain hygiene items such as shower gel and toothpaste, along with water and fruit juice.
Many of the refugees who do manage to leave Hungary are entering Austria. This country has been a refugee destination for many years, and the Austrian Bible Society has a long-established ministry of partnering with and supplying Scriptures to churches that work in refugee centres. With the current wave of arrivals, the Society is working with a growing number of churches. If refugees express an interest in reading the Bible, then the Society is on standby to respond to requests from churches to supply Bibles in the relevant language.
The French port of Calais has also been a key destination for migrants. Here, the Bible Society which serves England and Wales is planning to respond to requests from Christian refugees for Bibles in their own languages, including Amharic, Farsi and English. Staff will visit the refugee camp in Calais on September 19 and hope to be able to leave some Bibles at the makeshift church of St Michael’s.
Please pray for the people who continue to live in deteriorating conditions in Syria and the region (more information here: http://www.unhcr.org/55eed5d66.html). Pray for those who are leaving, for the refugee families as they go west through Hungary, especially for children and elderly people. Ask God to provide inspired helpers and dedicated Christians who can support them on their journey. Pray for Bible Societies as they contribute to this work.