At this writing, 400,000 refugees have entered Europe during the first nine months of 2015. In the past three days alone, 22,500 landed on the beach in Lesbos, Greece in rubber rafts after crossing the Mediterranean. European countries are negotiating how to absorb the vast numbers of displaced people.
“It is important to remember that getting refugees through borders safely is the very beginning of the crisis for many of them. These people need work, and homes, and language training, and child care, often post traumatic counseling, and on and on the list goes.
“We have to stop letting the size of the problem consume and overwhelm us to the point that we just sit there with our eyes glazed over, motionless. It is comparable to a million people staring at the flames of a city burning, so engrossed by the sheer magnitude that they fail to see the buckets of water which stand at each of their feet. Imagine if the million of them took their eyes off of the fire, picked up their own bucket of water and threw it on the flames they could reach?
“Think, who are the people you know who might have something they could offer to help one family? Then pick up the phone, send an email, start a conversation.” ~M. Chastain
Some of our peers in The Mission Society are doing something to help. They are currently amassing supplies for refugee families – tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, basic living supplies that can be carried in a pack and help sustain them via shelter and warmth. The Chastain family, currently serving in Estonia, will be packing these supplies in their van and traveling the route that is currently being taken by many refugees, driving south from Estonia to Albania. Once in Albania, they will refill the van and make the trip back to Estonia again. If you would like to be a part of their help for refugees, please give to their fund at https://themissionsociety.org/give Please go to the area for "Give to a Partner or Project" and type in "Chastain Special Project Refugees".
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!