Flexibility and love of neighbor

The current refugee crisis is marked by the reality that what was yesterday may be completely different tomorrow. Those people who would like to help the arriving men, women and children therefore need much flexibility.

In Austria local churches were requested to provide shelter for refugees arriving in Vienna. Vienna-Fünfhaus UMC has responded positively and prepared a night shelter. Night after night, 50 people have now a warm place to stay, something to eat, and they are taken care of by volunteers.

Last week, the «Hungarian Interchurch Aid» (HIA) in Hungary sent several truckloads of humanitarian aid to a refugee center in Röszke, which is located on the border to Serbia. The UMC in Hungary, which is a founding member of HIA, has recruited a number of volunteers to support this relief effort and will in future continue to particularly cooperate with this ecumenical organization.

In Serbia the ecumenical humanitarian organization EHO in Novi Sad decided, after careful evaluation, to help improving the living condition in two refugee camps on the border to Hungary – in Subotica and in Kanjiza. As a member of EHO, the UMC in Serbia supports this relief effort to the best of its abilities.

It is hard to measure up what impact the current political development in the various European countries will have. But it seems to be obvious: flexibility and love of neighbor will still be in demand.

Source: Office of Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich
Date: September 14, 2015