POTATO SOUP

Idomeni: when fear trumps love

 

IDOMENI, GREECE

Crossing the border from Macedonia into Greece, Idomeni begins long before the iconic location that is now the Greek geo-political point of the refugee crisis. This tortured reality is more than tents, more than 15,000 trapped people, more than the rampant sickness borne under horrific conditions.  From a razor-wire fence that slashes the face of Europe,  Idomeni is who we are becoming when fear builds walls and trumps love.

May God have mercy on all of us. Continue reading

IMGP1412

Finding Jesus

We are looking for Jesus this weekend. Searching for him, scanning the crowds for his face, straining to hear his voice. We believe that he is there in Idomeni, Greece. We believe that he is in the camps in Macedonia, and Serbia. Do you? Continue reading

The Sole People

DSC_0974September 2015 – When the rains came down.

You do not forget rain like that –  90 minutes of water coming hard. The main thought on my mind was ‘How did these families make it through the night?’

At that point in the global migration, we naively believed that the tide of refugees from the Middle East would reduce to a trickle with the winter. At least, we hoped it would slow because the Balkans in January is nature’s foulest mood – it rips and chews the skin when given the chance. Continue reading

travel_family_Fotor

courage for the journey – dangerous refugees

train_Fotor

boarding the train to Slovenia

tent_foggy_Fotor

a tent city in the western Balkans

opatovac_graeme_tents_Fotor

early morning volunteer hours

The guards are frightening. 

I imagine how it all looks from the eyes of a Syrian child who has run from ISIS, or through the eyes of the tumbling stomach of an Afghani girl who has hidden her shaking vulnerability behind flimsy doors in fear of Taliban soldiers. 

Here in Europe, the guards wear black. Their face masks are black too, covering all but the eyes as she walks through mazes formed by the position of cattle fences.  Continue reading

I am THE refugee: Courage for the Journey

keleti_women_travel_Fotorkeleti_chris_hearts_FotorIt was Saturday in Keleti train station. My friend, Chris, was giving out cardamon-infused tea to refugees like an ancient elixer that puts the world right again.

We saw olive skin and dark eyes wrapped in a black hijab. She was standing, tall and straight, like a sentry left to guard all that was valuable. There were 2 kids playing around her feet and several women lying on mats.

‘Hello, my name is Amina, which means peace in Farsi.’  Continue reading

I am THE refugee: ragtag stories

DSC_0887

Peel back our ribs again and stand inside of our chest.                                                                               Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity on the lips of the found.                                                                                              Oh let us adore the Son of Glory drenched in love.

John Mark McMilan / Skeleton Bones

Continue reading