Hannah Rader: With the Refugees in Greece

Over last Christmas break one of my good friends invited me on a missions trip to Thessaloniki, Greece. I was hesitant at first because of the risks involved with going to work with Syrian refugees, but after a few months of prayer and discussion I felt like God was calling me to go.

The trip was called Engage the Crisis, and thousands of college students participated in this movement by traveling to Europe to share the gospel to Refugees. My team was located in northern Greece and we spent two weeks this summer sharing the gospel, loving the refugees, and distributing food, water, and clothes.

It is amazing that of all the locations Engage the Crisis had to offer, my team was located in the area that contained the most refugees at the time. My team and I spent most of our time in two different refugee camps known as Echo and Diavata. Echo (which no longer exists; the refugees were forced to leave and join another camp in Greece) was an informal camp, which means it was not government-run. We were able to enter the camp very easily and speak freely.

In this camp in particular, our team was blessed with the opportunity to share the gospel daily. Muslim refuges were not only interested in, but also accepting of the gospel; they wanted to know Jesus on a personal level. It was amazing!

The refugees are in such a place of desperation and vulnerability that the hope and love of Jesus is the only truth that can impact their current situation in a positive way.

Many refuges that we had the privilege of speaking with communicated that they had been experiencing recurring dreams of a man in white coming to them in their sleep. My team and I firmly believe that the man in their dreams is Jesus, and we were able to share this truth and saw lives transformed because of it.

I am so amazed at the ways in which God is moving within these camps. He is present and His love for the Muslim people is unreal. I personally found the trip and experience to be very challenging. I had never spoken to strangers on the street, let alone Muslims, about Christianity before, but I quickly learned it was the most rewarding thing I have ever done; I had never felt so alive. Reflecting on my time makes me miss the relationships with the people I met, but it also encourages me to continue to pray for the refugees, and ask God to continue to make Himself known to these people who are so hungry for hope and life.

I am so thankful that Lake Baldwin supported me with their prayers and financial support. Many refugee lives have been transformed and many people have experienced the loving embrace of Jesus for the first time. Thank you for partnering with me!!

— Hannah Rader