My First Hour in Moria

I was assigned to Family Services: Level 1, in the center of Moria Prison on the Greek Island of Lesvos, about two miles from Turkey. At least it was a bright and sunny day.

We arrived about an hour before breakfast, and there wasn’t a lot to do until then. I was encouraged to mingle if I was bold enough. Instead, I decided to prayer walk and see what doors might open. I got about thirty yards and passed a picnic table full of people eyeing me suspiciously. I was going to keep walking, but one of them asked me to sit down at the last remaining seat. So I sat. God had opened the door!

Everyone at the table was from Syria. I sat next to a 12-year-old boy with his parents and two other men. The boy instantly wanted a selfie with me. All the adults, who were about my age, started peppering me with questions in their limited English.

They asked me questions ranging from my favorite soccer team (I don’t have one, but they liked Spain) to my favorite president (their consensus was that Bill Clinton was the best, followed by Bush I & II, with Obama lagging behind). The best question, though, was, “Why are you here?”

“Because I follow Jesus”, I answered, “and I believe this is where He would want to be and I want to be like Him.” I expected some resistance or shock at this statement, but they’d all been in this center for 15 days. Many of the people that have served in this detention facility have been Christians. Their impression is that the West is all Christian, so of course I was, too.

My prayer, hope and even expectation is that they will know us by our love. That conversation helped to start several other long, one-on-one conversations with other men in Family Services Level 1. God planted many seeds and helped me to serve a lot of people.

Jesus, please bring the increase as you’ve promised. Bring revival to the people of Syria and the rest of the displaced people seeking refuge in Europe. Please use this crisis to reveal your glory in the nations! Amen!

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