In November and December of 2015 GMSM joined Conscience International on the island of Lesbos, Greece to assist in the flow of refugees fleeing Syria, Iran,Afghanistan and Iraq from the rule of ISIS. As they left their countries they migrated through Turkey, mostly on foot, and came across the Aegean Sea via rubber dingy. Sounds like a simple process but it’s far from simple. Leaving property, family members and belongings due to the strong arm of ISIS and war these people faced odds that most humans could not handle. Running from the enemy ,they found more problems when they reached Turkey. Seems like Turkey has a unsatisfiable taste for money. The refugees are taken advantage of financially and mistreated physically. Once they reach the Turkish shore they are SOLD the right of passage on a small boat for the sum of $1000.00 to $1500.00 per person. The small boats to my estimation could comfortably hold 25 passengers. But money mongrels always figure out how to exploit the hurting. So they cram 50 to 60 freedom seekers on one raft and smile all the way to the bank. Most refugees are not necessarily water people so boating experience is not common. They purchase ineffective life jackets, take a crash course in boating 101 and are pointed in the direction of the island. Most make it and some do not. There have been many drownings, mostly children. Our mission was to accept the refugees once they hit the shores of Lesbos and get them to the stage two camp in Scalla and get them dry cloths, warm drink, water and food. Once in the camp there are doctors to see after the sick and hurting. The problems range from exposure to culture shock and everything between. We also try to give them their dignity back. In this two month span I spent 5 weeks on Lesbos, 3 of those weeks our youngest daughter Lydia was with us. It’s a joy seeing your child in the field doing what should be
natural to all people. Unfortunately that’s not the case. A lot of people have the misconception that all Muslims are bad people. Yes there are some bad Muslims, just like there are some bad Americans and other people in the world. We were not there to make judgment on these people. We were there to meet needs and extend the hand of love and friendship. I think Christ showed us that example didn’t He. Once they got through our camp the refugees were put on a bus that takes them to bigger camps to start the processing so they could move through Europe. We are hoping for a return trip (#3) after the 1st. This by far has been one of the greatest experiences GMSM has been a part of. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.