31 Days of Philippians 4:8
The news is full of stories headlining tragic examples of humankind’s depravity and the devastation that lies in its wake.
Yet always, in response to that devastation, brave and noble souls can be found reaching out to those caught in the crossfires of greed and corruption.
One such person is Kelly Connolly, the daughter of a college friend. Her compassion for people who’ve been marginalized and victimized as well as her passion for demonstrating the tender love of Jesus have struck a chord deep in my soul. Her writing conveys a sensitivity and wisdom beyond her years. I’m fortunate to have come across an interview done with Kelly while she was ministering to refugee families on the Greek island of Lesvos. Take a look–you’ll be amazed and grateful that God is raising up such humble, prayerful, action-oriented servants as this young woman of faith.
It’s been an absolute honor watching the Body of Christ come together to actively engage the crisis by joyfully serving the refugees in Lesvos. Never have I (personally) seen an instance of the global Church operating in so much unity. Worshipping and praying alongside believers from all over the world, who have pressed pause on their lives back home to come to Greece and love their neighbors has been so inspiring. It’s given me a glimpse into what heaven will look like—a beautiful, multifaceted representation of the world surrendered, submitted, and in awe of Jesus and His Kingdom.
You can find this powerful interview at:
A related interview with Kelly and her coworker Laura Pennington can be found at:
At Kelly’s suggestion, I also looked up info on a group called i58. In Kelly’s words, “i58 is an American based group that has had a steady stream of volunteers in Lesvos since last fall — they are the most humble, honoring people I worked with. Their care, cross-cultural commitment to honoring and dignifying the people they’re serving, and love looks more like Jesus than almost anything I’ve ever seen.”
While pursuing the organization’s website, I read one of the articles posted on its blog. While I’m unsure of the writer’s name, the compassion and sincerity in this author”s voice as she expresses her heart to a young refugee leave me amazed and encouraged.
But Zaina girl, as I sat there with you and your parents, I was happy to realize that even in the middle of this overcrowded camp, you are loved. I see it in the way your parents delight in you.
They gave up all they knew to give you peace. Ran from war so that you would be safe.
I know they must struggle to know how they ended up here in an over-crowded transit camp. This place that’s so full that you could slip out of sight among the crowd and disappear in a moment…
Zaina girl, I wish that I could protect you from all the pain of this broken world. I want to shield you from realities of war and hatred attached to the headlines in the news. I want you to be able to grow up in a world of peace…But more than that, I want you to come to know the peace that passes all understanding…A peace that can live in our hearts even in the middle of war.
What more can really be said–except perhaps that thinking on noble endeavors such as these can provide an impetus for us as we seek to live out the light of the Gospel in the warmth of Christ’s love.
[i58] is a volunteer organization assisting refugee relief in Greece. Every day, we are encountering the overwhelming humanitarian crisis that is devastating Syria and surrounding parts of the world. To us, this crisis comes to us in human faces—the countless refugees we meet and serve everyday, the faces of broken families, hurting children and the vulnerable elderly. We exist to bring help and hope to each of them.
You can read more about i58 on their website, http://i58greece.com/