TWR Refugee Ministry Coordinator reflects on the needs of refugees and shares a practical way you can get involved.
This past summer, as I researched the refugee situation in Europe, there was one reoccurring theme that struck me—hopelessness. Refugees in Europe have fled war, persecution, violence and poverty. They have transcended the hurdles of a long journey from their homes into a new and foreign environment. However, when they finally settle in a new European safe haven, they are often confronted with a bleak future. Regardless of their passions, talents and knowledge, they must put their dreams on hold—or give up on them entirely—as they wait restlessly in refugee camps or struggle to assimilate in their new environment. Alone, traumatized and living on the margins of European society, refugees can hardly help but feel a pervasive hopelessness.
Building Bridges of Hope
However, God “Speaks Hope to the World” through TWR. In fact, this is our mission statement! I am excited to introduce our new Refugee Bridge ministry. With TWR’s unique core competencies in media, we are well positioned to bring hope into the lives of the over three million refugees and asylum seekers throughout Europe. How? Through the very devices that refugees use every day—smartphones. For your average refugee—who typically relies on communication, travel and information—few items are more important than a smartphone. Last summer, as we researched the best ways for TWR to reach out to refugees, we realized that smartphones would be an incredibly effective way of proclaiming hope through a device that most refugees already have in their pocket at this very moment!
We have recently released the Refugee Bridge mobile app. At the moment, it has select programs from our existing Hope for Syria and Women of Hope series, chosen for their relevance to the refugee situation. However, TWR will develop new, tailor-made content which addresses the specific and unique issues that refugees encounter in Europe. The first new refugee series that we will produce will be an audio drama bringing the story of a Muslim refugee to life. Through this series, we hope to present healthy ways of dealing with trauma, loneliness and societal marginalization, whilst carefully introducing Christ as the only true hope.
Female refugees face their own particular set of challenges. From caring for their children to wrestling between two vastly different societal views of women, their experiences are especially complex. For this reason, TWR wants to be very deliberate in making media for female refugees and helping them to cope with their unique challenges. This will similarly take the form of an audio drama series but will have a female refugee protagonist and will be tailored to the issues that refugee women experience.
Racing for Refugees in the Hamburg Triathlon
In order to raise support for this radio series for refugee women, TWR is once again participating in the Hamburg Triathlon, this time in a special event known as Triathlon4Refugees! We are looking for several athletes (or athletes-to-be!) to compete in the triathlon and raise support for us to produce new Women of Hope programs. Would you or someone you know like to participate? Participants can choose from a variety of possibilities: the sprint distance (swimming 0.5 km, biking 22 km, running 5 km), the olympic distance (swimming 1.5 km, biking 40 km, running 10 km) or the relay option where athletes participate in only one of the disciplines.
For more information about competing in, promoting or supporting this effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Triathlon4Refugees website.
Photo by Dreamstime