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The New Refugee Corridor

A New Refugee Corridor

Editor's Note: This letter from Zijah to Live Global has been published below in its entirety, edited only slightly for security and English grammar. Headers have also been added for readability

Dear brothers and sisters, 

We are thankful to God that we had a chance to react fast and to organize our first visit to the Polish - Ukrainian border. After many years of serving refugees, we were surprised that so many things are different in this "new" refugee corridor.

Comparing Corridors: Syrian vs Bosnian

Refugees from Syria and Afghanistan usually travel months and months until they come to Bosnia and neighboring countries. At the beginning of the Syrian refugee corridor the relation of male and female was 50:50. People who were coming from towns in which they could witness battles and shooting, had several months until they came in touch with us.  

In Poland the situation is very different. Practically all refugees are women, children and older men. They left their country a few minutes ago and they left places that are on the front-line less than 24 hours ago. Many of them are still in touch with husbands, sons and brothers who are in the Ukrainian army. It is different intensity than what we had on the Syrian/Afghani refugee corridor. Another big difference is that Ukrainian refugees are still receiving a lot of food, clothes, medicine, and all other things that they need. So, there is no struggle about that. There is one more huge difference. Ukrainians are coming in much, much bigger numbers and volunteers are on the edge.  

Ukrainian refugee crowds

A Gospel Focus in Ukrainian Refugee Response

We were serving in a church building that practically became one big refugee center. Hundreds and hundreds of people have only a few showers and a few bathrooms. Places for sleeping are very basic. The same situation is all other places where refugees are gathering.

Our team focused on helping with transportation and we put special focus on encouraging local volunteers in their work. We helped in the kitchen, worked with kids, encouraged people and all other things that were needed. Many refugees from Ukraine are our brothers and sisters in Christ. The local church is also organizing an evangelism meeting every evening.

evangelism at refugee center

Sharing from Experience

We also helped with giving advice with our experiences of dealing with refugees and an effect that it has on our church. It was a very intensive time for us and it is a challenge to face so much pain and suffering. We pray that God will give peace and that we will see the end of war, faster than anybody can expect.  

We are discussing the next possible trip. As usual, we have a lot of different opinions on all things connected with this trip. We want this to be a blessing for volunteers in Poland, Ukrainian refugees and also a big blessing for our church in Bosnia.  

God bless you!  

Greetings from Zijah

*To protect the security and identity of the individuals serving in this context, we have changed their names online and in some cases use photos that are representative.

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As the refugee crisis continues to flare throughout Europe, Wave and the Bosnia church have born a powerful witness through love, service, and care.

Learn more about at
https://liveglobal.org/caring-for-refugees/

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  • That leaders and church members would have compassionate understanding for refugees coming from Afghanistan
  • That different people groups would interact peacefully as they come from warring regions
  • That many refugees would come to know Jesus as their Savior
  • That their projects would spread and encourage churches all throughout Europe
  • That new believers from other religious backgrounds would have courage and endurance in the light of persecution
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