It is a tragedy that affects nearly 71 million men, women, and children around the world, but this isn’t just a number. War has forced 71 million people from their homes, according to a United Nations statistic. These people with deep needs have fled violence, war, persecution, and many other disasters.
Over the past four years, many of these refugees have come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq crossing from Turkey to Greece, and some have moved on to other European countries bringing the total number above 1.3 million. Today, there are at least 70,000 refugees in Greece, and the number of those arriving is increasing each month. In 2019, the world saw a spike in the number of refugees compared to 2018. In October 2019 alone, for example, there were 14,000 new refugee arrivals in Greece.
When the war broke out in Syria, the country had a population of 20.8 million. Approximately 5.6 million, around 27 percent of the people, fled the country, and today most of those refugees are in Turkey, Libya, and Jordan. Thousands continue to cross over into Greece and Europe each month.
This crisis has presented both a tremendous need and opportunity for AMG International, and we have seen God do amazing things as we have sought to offer help. We are helping individuals whose homes were destroyed; wives and children who lost husbands; fathers, brothers, and sisters in the war; and people who enjoyed good lives and lost everything overnight. We have helped people who traveled for several months to escape death, women who were abused by traffickers and others during their escape, and children who were orphaned.
Today, in two refugee centers in Athens and one in Thessaloniki, AMG is ministering to hundreds of refugees each month. Just in one center alone, we serve more than 200 refugees in need of help each and every day. As their presence in Greece is becoming more permanent, we are seeking to provide language and vocational training to help them as they start a new life.
Our greatest desire for them is to learn about the love of Christ. These conversations naturally arise as they ask us to share the reason we are showing love to them. It opens the door for the gospel, and as a result, we have seen many come to faith, be baptized, and join growing immigrant churches in Greece. It is truly an incredible work that God is doing.
These refugees would not have been reached with the gospel if God had not brought them to us. Our Lord has used a tragedy to allow us to show and proclaim His love, and it is resulting in His children finding their way Home by coming to faith in Jesus.
We need your help to continue our outreach to refugees by helping to cover the operating expenses of the three existing centers and in growing our ability to offer vocational and language training to people in need. Will you prayerfully support us in this endeavor and help us reach these desperate individuals with the love of Jesus? Together, we can make a lasting impact on their lives.