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Supporting refugees - the tensions amidst the joys


The underlying theme in these stories can be summed up in the word ‘tension’. Please pray for those trying to mediate in situations like those outlined. We have kept some of the details a little bit hidden, to protect the identity of the particular pastors/ministers and congregations. Even in churches where the sense of compassion is great and the generosity real, day-to-day living with strangers in your home is not always straightforward. Read on to find out more of what it can be like at times!

Imagine having 13 in one house (8 of them are not your family), there is a queue for the one shower, the elderly folk in the household find the antics of six noisy children to be too much, and there are concerns about who will pay for the extra hot water used. Actually, that latter issue, (and others such as how urgent medicine can be bought), is exactly one of those problems that our appeal funds are helping to solve. The pastor involved notes about these hosts: ‘So, it should be none of their business how much hot water others in the house use, as it is not they who are paying for it. But they are just overly concerned and want to regulate others…’

A pastor and good friend of EMF (we may very well be giving them assistance from appeal funds when they need it) in Hungary admits: ‘As we tried to extend hospitality to these people, we had several difficult moments as well. In the haste we had some miscommunication; we were less patient with each other; the tiredness and the constant “stand by” mode had a toll on us. To make a long story short: we felt Satan’s attacks or – as one of my friends likes to put it – “Sauron’s eye” was on us. This is his modus operandi: whenever there is an opportunity for some kind of ministry, an attack from our enemies is expected. As Paul has stated: ‘for a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.’ (1Cor 16:9)’

In Poland, one of the workers directly involved with the aid effort has spoken of tensions in some of the churches supporting refugees - about divisions arising, as some members are pushing ahead and doing everything for refugees, even turning the church into a refugee centre; others aren't so on board. The pastor (can't mention his name) of the church  we help in Warsaw, who lives in a flat in the building, is getting pulled into hands-on refugee support at all hours of the day or night.

These pastors/ministers also rejoice in opportunities to speak of Christ to many, many, people, of course, and speak of refugees asking deep spiritual questions, of Christian compassion being seen every hour of the day, of prayers being answered – one worker we have been helping in Warsaw, not given to over-statement, talks of ‘miracles, problems solved hour by hour, God's providence and provision in the most extreme situations´.

But the day-to-day situation is so demanding. They need our prayers.

Prayer Points


  • for the refugees who come into contact with our workers...that they may see Christ, in spite of all human failings and weakness
  • for the workers to find renewed strength each day in the Gospel and in their own devotional times with the Lord
  • for the resources and support to get to those who need it, so that the workers whose bodies and minds are straining under the pressure might find relief
  • for the Devil not to get the victory in these areas, but rather that many will be saved,  snatched from his kingdom and brought into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus.