‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ (Mt 25:35)
Many of us have crossed borders to get here and know what it’s like to be new to a country. Recently, record numbers of people have been seeking refuge in Europe from war and oppression in their home countries.
Here in Groningen, Grace Church members have been helping where they can.
Some are involved in the initiative “Groningen verwelkomt vluchtelingen” (‘Groningen Welcomes Refugees’, for info, click: Grunnverwelkomtvluchtelingen).
Others have made ‘welcome-packages’ (with food and clothing and a welcome card) to give to the estimated 550 refugees coming to Groningen.
Some also welcomed and shared a meal with refugees from Syria and Eritrea at a party near the Onnen asylum seekers’ centre (see the regional news story, in Dutch: RTV Noord ‘Onnen viert feest met asielzoekers’).
All these initiatives have been started by volunteers and churches in Groningen who have a heart for asylum seekers and refugees, and their suffering and needs, and want to make them feel welcome in our city and province. And we ‘Gracers’ are happy to play our part!