Arrival in Greece
Here is what’s important to know:
Geographically Lesvos is the closest large land mass from Turkey.
Greece & Turkey do not always get along, and the reality is that Greece does not have the resources to be receiving this many refugees in a camp that is already double its capacity.
The country is not doing well economically, tourism is low and that leaves a lot of businesses without customers. In the last few days I’ve had fun photographing how spectacular this place really is, in hopes that maybe this specific island becomes a travel destination for people.
I tell myself I am trying Greek sweets & coffees.. for the sake of helping economy, right? ;)
Rule of thumb when in Greece, plumbing sucks. Don’t flush the paper.
This is not Canada. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way. Drivers and scooters are so confident in their hectic driving way... crossing the street scares me more than being in camp.
•I’m all seriousness, small boats are overpacked after contacting a smuggler in hope of a better life and then they make that dangerous open water journey.
•People from many countries no longer have a home.
(We are talking 40 different nations!)
•We are volunteering under Euroreleif /
•YWAM LESVOS who is about a year old, their base is on the “next wave” which is where we are currently living.
•The crisis is STILL ongoing
The very morning we toured camp there was a handful of boats that arrived!
some of the tasks we do: Security, gate guarding, admin, doctors, plumbers, teachers etc.
Every life jacket has a story.
We had the chance to see the “life jacket graveyard”. Thousands have been dumped, along with boat remains and small floaty tubes. Kassie looked over at me and reminded me that each jacket had a story and the little girl I was holding hands with at camp wore one of these - if she was lucky. My heart broke at the truth in her observation. You can visually see the large number of people Moria camp has had to host.
WE ARE TOLD:
Everyday will be different, that is the life of most volunteers... and the refugees.
How are we & what you can pray for:
Don’t worry. So far so good :) our entire team made it after a full day of travel on Easter.
Incase you didn’t know I am on this trip with my Village school or ministry class. I’ve had the privilege of spending the last eight months with some amazing people learning about the bible & what it would be like to pursue ministry, but that’s a story in itself.
It is a whole new adventure to be living 6 girls out of suitcases in one small room did I mention.. on a boat.
The “next wave” is bigger than what I had imagined. Theres a kitchen, bathrooms and a cozy library we’ve already gotten to dive into. Feels homey and I some how still get lost on this small ship)
The marina is beautiful to look at, the Greek stars are something I am excited to stare at. I picture what life at sea must be like, but the thought makes me a little sea sick so I’ll stop.
PRAY FOR CONFIDENCE
Some of us have been feeling anxious about the unknown of what the days will look like, or what tasks we will be asked to do. Pray that we feel adequacy and courage.
We were reminded that it is easier to be a light in a dark place. Moria camp is a dark place.
It was fitting to leave for our trip on Easter, when our church reminded us to RISK EVERYTHING.
We can’t ignore this situation, we need to come in knowing that we were given a crazy opportunity and we need to make the most out of it. We are not the only ones who risked it all. These people risked safety, being caught or arrested in the waters, the lives of their children and families, risk going into a country with no legal documents this is THE REAL DEAL.
We already miss home and our families.
We have the advantage of coming into this already a family, but many on our team are leaving North America for the first time and traveling an entire day to end up half way around the world into the unknown CAN BE (I take that back..) IT IS a scary thing. We know our families miss us, but trust me it goes both ways.
Well. That’s all for now. We got asked what our first impression of Moria was (because you only get one first Impression). I think the documentaries made me think the journey to camp was the hardest part for them, but I realized once they get to camp the frustration and shock levels for them are high, and they don’t expect to be sleeping in these conditions. Maybe I’ll ask the rest of the class what their impressions were, but i thought it was cleaner than what I expected now that the Greeks get hired to pick up some trash. In a matter of seconds during our tour many kids would hold our hands and call us “my friend” or joking call us thieves. It’s kinda very cute in its on way.
Oh, If you donated, spread awareness or prayed for anyone on our team THANK YOU. We seriously came at a very needed time.
One last thing. The other day thanks to jet lag, Sarah and I watched the sunrise. What is life? I watched beautiful colours above Turkey from the comfort of our boat/home !
It had been a few days and lots has changed.
JUST ADDING PHOTOS TO THE NEXT POST SO ILL SEND THAT OUT ASAP SO YOU ARE ALL INTHE LOOP.
Lots of love,