I was able to visit the Greek island, Lesvos. In the background, you can see Turkey, and a Greek military boat just off the coast of Lesvos. Thousands of refugees have traveled across these waters on a boat with the hopes of starting a new life in Europe. I think this picture speaks volumes.
This body of water is separating two countries that have had long-lasting conflicts. This body of water is the final flight many refugees make before arriving on European Union soil. One country has a history of Islam and the other is Orthodox. Each country’s land was once ruled by the other. When refugees leave one side, they are leaving behind everything they are fleeing from and arriving on the other land with the hopes of a better life. Some people die as they cross the water. Some people get across wanting to return. Some feel secure for the first time. Some say they experienced a whole other world, even though they only crossed a body of water that is 5 miles wide.
I find myself wanting to be somewhere in the middle of the water, building a bridge
At one point 3,000 refugees were traveling to Lesvos each day. Now it is only a few hundred. People have died to try to make it across.
We are so thankful to be able to love and serve people who have suffered so much and would go to such great cost to find security, peace, and freedom. Thankfully, Jesus suffered in our place to give us ultimate hope, security, and freedom. To quote a refugee friend, “I would cross the water again if it means me being able to hear the gospel.” I pray more people will cross lands and waters to preach the gospel to others.
Photos of what is called the life jacket grave yard. It’s filled with life jackets from the travels of refugees. The other photos were common landing grounds for refugees, living conditions, and the sunrise over Turkey. You can also see bits and pieces of rafts and boats they used to cross.