The European Baptist Federation report that since the beginning of the migrant crisis 568,439 persons entered the Republic of Croatia.
In search of a safer life, in search of freedom and dignity, many were forced to leave their homes, leave years of hard work, leave everything they owned, and start their life-changing journey; a journey of hope, journey towards a better life.
That ‘journey of hope’ which began in Syria, and went through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria to finally come to Germany, was not easy. As a matter of fact, that was a ‘journey through hell’, and Croatia found itself at the centre of, and therefore became witness to the biggest migrant crisis in the history since World War II.
Croatian Baptist Aid volunteers talked to a refugee passing through Croatia who had contact from his family to say that they they had made from Turkey onto a boat (dealers charge €1,000 per person) that was in trouble due to storms and rough sea. He passed the information to the Croatian police who notified officials in Greece, and the boat’s passengers were rescued.
Over half a million people have passed through the Croatian camp.
Since the first day of the refugee crisis there are a lot of volunteers from different Protestant Churches working inside the camp. They differ on some theological issues and opinions, but are united with the purpose of working together and helping the refugees. There were 170 volunteers from 22 different countries (USA, UK, Germany, Spain, France, India, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, etc.) that through the Protestant Evangelical Alliance came to work in the refugee camp in Croatia.
The volunteers from across Europe and North America adapt to the refugees’ changing needs. During the summer they distributed water, food and clothes. Due to extreme cold and snow covering the camp in winder, volunteers handed out 700 packs of gloves, a scarf, and socks a day along with footware and high energy food (muesli bars, peanuts, walnuts, energy bars, chocolate and bananas).
The most important thing to us is talking to the refugees. Our vision and mission on Earth but also in the camp is to talk to them, pray for them, and show them Christ in action … It is our wish to help these people on their journey from hell to heaven. That is the journey with salvation as its goal. We want to persevere in this, because we believe it is important.
Read more in the original article on EBF’s website.
1. The cold working morning in Slavonski Brod. The camp in the snow. The refugee train from Serbia to Croatia.
2. Volunteers from different countries: USA, Sweden, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia.
3. CBA volunteers from Croatia and Macedonia while distributing food for children.
Photos: Croatian Baptist AID