Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Middle East have trudged across southeastern Europe for weeks, buffeted by the rapidly changing policies and politics of various European governments as they try to make their way to Germany or Austria.
When Hungary shut its border on September 15, Croatia threw open its borders and welcomed the travelers with open arms.
In Croatia, resident Nazarene missionaries Dave and Betsy Scott and Ashley Huber now find themselves with an overwhelming, unexpected opportunity as so far 35,000 people have entered Croatia in the last week. According to Betsy, Croatian authorities estimate another 80,000 refugees are on their way.
What have you been doing to respond to the refugees needs?
Betsy Scott: Such a variety of ways, from helping to coordinate mobilization in Zagreb and eastern Croatia, being proactive in partnering with people and learning the up-to-date needs on the ground. Just that alone has been a 24-hour job. We’ve also been able to help by
- picking up trash
- helping shut down a refugee camp
- buying and delivering much needed tangible material things, like providing tents when there were only 10 tents for a group of 1000 people,
- helping set up a mobile Internet hotspot station for refugees to connect with their loved ones,
- buying hygiene products, baby food, food, water and other supplies.
For the rest of the interview, see Engage magazine.