One refugee explained to a reporter* that the sea is the only country without visa requirements. Many have risked dangerous travel by boat across the sea to find refuge in Europe, and some of those risks have ended in tragedy. Many others actually arrive and find that border restrictions are increasing.
And tensions continue to rise in Europe as refugees search for asylum and a fresh start. One particular hotspot of activity is the Hungarian-Serbian border, where the influx of refugees has already doubled from last year’s totals. The eyes of the world have been focused on Budapest in the last two weeks as Syrians, Afghanis and other victims of war have been detained from trains and kept from crossing the border by a new razor wire wall. Some asylum seekers protest their detention by refusing to eat and drink until they are able to cross.
Though the situation is dire, God is mobilizing Pioneers on the ground in nearby areas to join forces with local Christians and humanitarian aid organizations to bring relief and a message of hope.
One of Pioneers’ core values is innovation and flexibility—something in high demand during this crisis—allowing many of our field workers to shift gears to provide medical attention, set up warm water washing stations, distribute kits with essentials for hygiene, share coats or blankets for the increasingly cool weather, give food and water and pray for them in the name of Jesus when the refugees are willing. Many refugees just need someone to hear their story. Pioneers listen and look for opportunities to share the story of how a life in Jesus can bring hope.