Photo by Ethan York / ITeams

Responding to the Refugee Crisis near Vienna, Austria

September 23, 2015

We received this update from a team member working with refugees at The Oasis outside Vienna, Austria. In response to the present refugee crisis, the team continues to focus on and care for the people who come to their door.

“The beauty of the grace of God is shining in the midst of it all. Words fail to express how thankful I am for the grace and the visible glory of God in the midst of what looks like a disaster.”

Over the last two months thousands upon thousands of refugees have continued to flood Europe. Austria is a country that has done an excellent job of caring for refugees in the past, but at this point the whole system is overwhelmed. Those who manage the local refugee camp are in as much shock and trauma as the refugees sleeping in tents and under plastic bags in heat, rain, and now cold nights. The camp normally houses 1,000, but now there are 5,000 refugees. More come each day as some are transferred to other housing in smaller places all over Austria. The political issues are huge as no one really wants them in their backyard.

Overcrowding in the camp means shortages of food and water. Our team at The Oasis has begun making food bags and passing them out on the streets while asking God to multiply the ‘loaves and fishes.’ Because so many have been wanting to help, this ministry has grown and increasing numbers of people from the community are distributing bags of fruit, vegetables, nuts, bread, and water in the name of Jesus.

In a report earlier this week, ITeams Austria commented:

"The crisis will hopefully end, but the refugees will continue to be in Austria, and our hope is that there is a new vision from the churches to reach out to the foreigners in their midst. We are not just thinking of the present crisis; we are trying to build for the future."

Please pray for the team at The Oasis as they minister to these refugees. Please pray for more resources and people who will come, which will allow them to meet the needs of even more refugees during this time of crisis.

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