2016-02-17 Mediteranean refugees
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
February 17, 2016
This is a letter to our friends –
The following letter just in from our friend, John Dawson of YWAM. – For clarity I have added [notes] in brackets. Since he sent it broadly, I will share it with you.
Every [YWAM] base, ministry and school worldwide is aware of the refugee crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean. Many are responding. Can we do more? What about our ship?
Here are the facts. The [YWAM ministry ship] Next Wave is now moored in Lesvos [a Greek island near the west coast of Turkey], where thousands of refugees are still pouring in and in virtually every twenty-four-hour period some perish at sea even though it’s a short crossing. (Just recently 44 drowned, including many children.)
With the Next Wave on the island, we have about 35 beds available for those [I believe, YWAM staff, but I am not sure] who are prepared to go for at least three weeks to meet refugees on arrival and distribute help to meet immediate needs for clothing, food, etc. We don’t need food and clothing because we want to buy them locally to help the devastated local economy. We will also seek to give assistance to local residents who are exhausted and traumatized by the continuous flood of refugees and death on their beaches. In addition, we need gifts to help with the cost of running the ship, we need gifts for purchasing relief items, and we need crew. At least two qualified crew need to be on board at any given time. [redacted for security]
We would like to see YWAM everywhere engage with this, one of the world’s greatest crises. Perhaps with a plan to fast a meal or a day, there could be a “loaves and fishes” offering toward this need. Each base or ministry should pray about their response.
What about the big picture? There are many other teams working with refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and in different parts of Europe [I (Ben) have written about Medair in this regard], and any such offering will not only bless the teams on the Next Wave but can also be used more widely. We are currently investigating other islands (Samos and Kos to start with) to find out whether there is housing and what is the magnitude of need there. Thank you for what you are already doing and may the Lord guide you as you consider this.
Your response can be addressed to refugees where a dedicated team is standing by.
International Ambassador, YWAM Medical Ships
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