Missionaries Joshua and Shannon Herndon recently visited Greece, where they will be relocating to start a Church of the Nazarene this summer. They met with evangelical leaders who are already at work there and have offered to help the family make connections and get to know potential partners.
Michael Long, a Free Methodist missionary, took the Herndons and Western Mediterranean Field Strategy Coordinator Bruce McKellips to the Idomeni refugee camp on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia.
What did you experience when you visited the Idomeni refugee camp?
We went not knowing what we were going to see or do. When we got there, it was amazing: You see it on the news, the thousands of people that are there. Just the week before, [Michael Long] had been to that same camp and there had been a few hundred. So he was blown away that there were thousands of people.
Before we went, we had bought some food, and brought clothes that Michael gathered. We distributed clothes, fresh fruit, cookies. We just went around and talked with people, saw the different nonprofit organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders. In Greece, the government has basically decided they want to be hands-off. They don’t have resources to deal with the influx of people, so the real help that is happening within the refugee community comes from Christian organizations, not-for-profits, individuals that come. It’s not government-driven.
There were 3-hour-long lines for food. Hundreds of people in line. It was a rainy day, the kids — you just see the need for shoes. I saw children barefooted, running around in the mud. Multiple children just have one shoe on; that’s the only shoe they own, maybe they’re sharing the other shoe with a sibling or lost it along the way.
For the rest of the interview, see Engage magazine.