The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) gives a clear picture of God’s desire for us to help those in desperate need wherever we find them. After describing how the Samaritan rescued a hurting man whom others had passed by, Jesus told His hearers, “Go and do likewise.” For over 40 years, Samaritan’s Purse has done our utmost to follow Christ’s command by going to the aid of the world’s poor, sick, and suffering. We are an effective means of reaching hurting people in countries around the world with food, medicine, and other assistance in the Name of Jesus Christ. This, in turn, earns us a hearing for the Gospel, the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Why are the refugees coming into Europe? Where are they from?
A large percentage of the most recent refugees are from Syria. In Syria, a more than four-year-old civil war between President Bashar al-Assad and various insurgent groups, including the Islamic State, has resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 people and displaced millions. Other refugees are escaping violence in the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, and Kosovo. More than 500,000 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea this year. The majority of them are simply seeking the opportunities that Europe provides.
What is Samaritan’s Purse doing on the ground?
Samaritan’s Purse has staff in Greece and Croatia working in Jesus’ Name to provide relief to vulnerable people. In Greece, we are meeting refugees on different islands as they arrive by sea—offering food, water, and dry clothing. In addition, we are helping to feed hundreds of refugees who are being sheltered in local Athens stadiums. Soap and sleeping pads are also being offered. In Croatia, we have set up several large hand-washing stations at a transit camp to address hygiene issues. Also, we are daily distributing hundreds of backpacks filled with food, hygiene items, a poncho, hats, blankets, and more. In Macedonia, our evangelical partners continue to hand out similar women’s and children’s backpacks. We are also meeting needs for basic necessities through Christian partners in Serbia and Hungary.