This summer I had an amazing opportunity to serve refugees in Athens. While I was serving, I was able to hear about their journeys to Greece and the trauma and heartache that came with it. However, there was also a glimmer of hope within each person’s journey. Hope in freedom, hope in a new life and hope in a future that has to be better than the life that they had.
While I was listening to their stories, I realized that many of the refugees had given up everything with no guarantee of life getting better or of making it out alive. As Christians we are called to take up our cross and follow Christ, with a guarantee of eternity with God. Yet we find it difficult to stand up for our faith at work or at school, because we are afraid of getting fired or getting in trouble. As Christians we have a guarantee of a better life, but we will still not risk everything. Whereas the refugees do not have any guarantee, but risk everything for a chance.
Many if not all of the refugees were Muslim when they fled their countries, but what amazed me the most was the faith and hope that they had even when they didn’t know Christ as their Savior. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Every refugee that I met had faith that they were going to make it to their destination country. Even after they had been in Greece for more than two years. They were hopeful, joyful and had faith in a future that was not guaranteed. What amazed me was that the refugees were reflecting God without trying and without knowing. God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27), and, while our reflection of Him is tainted by sin, we will still reflect Him even when we do not know it.
2019 Ten2 Participant, Athens, Greece