"There Cannot Be One Child Sleeping Outside"
As a church, we decided that there cannot be one child sleeping outside while we have our apartments, a place for church, and warm rooms. —Lorena, co-leader of the Caring for Refugees project
Every day, droves of Middle Easterners still pass through, and live in, the refugee corridor in Eastern Europe. Every day, Zijah and Lorena can see groups of refugees traveling through their city of Bosnia heading west. Some refugees are stuck in refugee camps until they get updates from the government on whether they'll be allowed to settle somewhere permanently.
Zijah and Lorena, alongside members of their church, have dedicated themselves to the caring of refugees in their country with the ultimate goal of reaching them for Christ. They have poured themselves out in prayer, hospitality, relief efforts, and evangelism as they seek to please their heavenly Father in service to Him.
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 19:33-34)
They've started to prepare tea, coffee, and dinner for those who sleep outside in refugee camps or on the street of their city. And they've started taking families with babies and small kids to their church each night to sleep out of the cold and rain.
Last night we had a Kurdish family with a few-months-old baby and 4-year-old girl. We are afraid that things will become much worse when the weather gets colder. Please pray that things on the refugee corridor will get better. It is interesting that a lady who slept in our church from Saturday to Sunday also came to our church service!
Praise God that He is allowing people to experience the love of God through the hospitality of Christians, and then hear about the love of God in church the following day. Plus, as God's timing would have it, Zijah and Lorena's church has just begun a ministry for children. Previously, they didn't have many kids coming to church, but now God has brought more Bosnian kids at the same time as He's brought refugee kids. We pray that the leaders and pastors at this church will boldly share with the kids how to find freedom from sin and shame in Christ in a way they can understand.