A friend asked me four days before we were to leave if I wanted to go to the island of Lesbos Greece and help Syrian refugees. They are coming by the thousands onto this small Greek island and volunteers were needed. I felt the Lord say go. Three weeks since returning I am reminded of a quote by Dorothy Kerin where she wrote “Obedience is the key that unlocks the door to every profound spiritual experience. “
That first morning on the island, we had just gone down to the shore and were helping get some donated clothes ready to hand out to those that would come off the boats. Ten minutes later, two rubber dinghies, packed with about 40 people each arrived right in front of us. I started walking out to help people get on the shore and take off their bright orange life vest. As I am walking toward them, I am overwhelmed with a wave of emotion. These are real people. This is not a picture on my computer screen or a news article I am reading. These are fathers, mothers, children, wives, teenagers and elderly. The next four days, I and many other volunteers handed out dry cloths, blankets, and water. We cleaned porta loos and picked up rubbish. We showed love, dignity and compassion to at least a thousand wet, hungry, and tired people each day.
I learned that in the midst of a crisis, overwhelming emotions, and at times chaotic circumstances that we as followers of Jesus can bring His peace in a real way. We can make a difference even in small ways. Oswald Chambers once said “We learn more by five minutes’ obedience than by ten years’ study. “ I am glad that I obeyed when the Lord said go; it truly was a profound experience.