Tuesday, September 8, 2015

the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep / on the front lines of history

The international media has picked up recently on the humanitarian crisis that is happening in Hungary. The truth is that the flow of migrants into Europe through Hungary has been happening for months. Recent issues have really put a spotlight on what has been going on here in Hungary.

We've been able to help the past few month by taking humanitarian aid to the refugees after they got processed and dropped off at the Szeged train station. A group of local volunteers has really led the charge in caring for these people on their journey. People from our church & others have been very generous in providing funds for us to give what we can. It's allowed us to be build bridges with the volunteers. 
helping migrants at the train station in Szeged

 Last night I went down to the border where these migrants cross over into Hungary and are held at camps for processing to meet friends from Budapest & Vajta who came to help. They brought blankets & mats for people to sleep on, I loaded my car with food. I wasn't prepared for the situation I encountered. Literally 5 minutes before I arrived, hundreds of migrants broke outed the camp& wanted to start walking to Budapest.they were stopped a few hundred meters down the road at a roundabout when the police locked it down, but about 100-150 did make a run for it and started walking up the M5 to Budapest (170km / 105 miles). The other 400-500 people just sat in this roundabout not wanting to move. I asked the police if I could help being a bilingual pastor & many of these people speak English.  They asked if I could help them tell the people they need to go back to the camp to get registered because without papers, according to EU law, they can not travel to Western Europe. The situation was so tense, when I went to talk with people, a couple of policemen escorted me. 5 minutes later they asked me to get on the loudspeaker and tell everyone they need to go back. So I jumped in a police car & explained to everyone why they need to go back. After hearing me, an Arabic man from Sweden who is here to give humanitarian aid, asked if could say in Arabic what I said in English.  Thankfully the crowd began to make their way back to the camp.
a heated standoff between migrants & the Hungarian police
what I encountered last night

After the situation calmed down, I was able to deliver the food I had to the camp of refugees & a few cases of coca-cola for the police who have been working 18 hour shifts for the last week or so.

As I left the scene later in the evening, the thought that struck me was, “this is history happening before our eyes”. I believe that in 30-50 years, what is happening now will go down in history as the event that reshaped Europe. I’d be foolish to say if it’s for better or for worse but I do know that this wave of migrants has started and will not stop in the near future, as a matter of fact, the numbers will only continue to increase in the weeks to come. the solution to this problem is way above my pay grade! 
the conditions people are living in

So what are we do to? honestly, I’m torn, I know that in this large number of people who are coming into Europe there are “bad elements” & unfortunately that can’t be stopped. What I do know, is that thousands of people are already here. I’ve been around many of them and they are people from all different walks of life who simply want to escape the horrible conditions in their homelands and make a better life for their families. can you blame them? most immigrants who went to America went with the same intentions! 
it's hard to see but the path on the right is how people are entering Hungary

Here is what I propose, why don’t we treat these people with the dignity and respect that they deserve as image bearers of God? I understand that they come from a different culture than us in the West & I understand that they’ve been taught to hate the “Great Satan” of the West, but what if we, people who claim to follow Jesus, reach out to them as Jesus would? Would Jesus care for immigrants? Would Jesus give food, drink, and a blanket to His enemies? Absolutely, Jesus even died on the Cross for His enemies. 

So even though I have conflicting thoughts on the issue, I’m going to have to go with what Jesus says, “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42). 

So as long as the Lord provides us the supplies, we will continue to do what we can to minister to these migrants coming into Europe at our doorstep. 

this being the case, I’d like to ask you 2 things…

  1. pray for us & pray for this whole situation
  2. prayerfully consider supporting this work toward the refugees financially.

 If you’d like to donate funds to this ministry, please contact me at kyleodi@gmail.com and we can work out the best way for you to get the funds to us so we can get aid to those in need as soon as possible.


  1. I like your perspective on this. Praying for protection against the "bad elements" but provision to flow to those who are migrating to escape terrible living conditions for their families.

  2. The humanitarian crisis is a real fact of todays life. Many people involved in suffering from irresponsible decisions. But also there is a light side of life/ Education is in the best way to help improve Life to a whole new level. I write article dedicated to writing tips at Writers Per Hour.

  3. I had written a course work at my University at the topic of Humanitarian help in crisis zones, so I even offered to write essay for me to get more relevant information and gain some real facts.

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