Warmly Welcoming Refugees

“Welcome!” TeachBeyond member Marcy Pusey and a team of students and staff from Black Forest Academy are spending their spring break in a refugee processing center on the Greek island of Lesvos (Lesbos) doing humanitarian work among refugees. This photo shows the body of water refugees cross from Turkey in the distance. Here is Marcy’s moving account of helping cold, wet women and children who are seeking shelter.

It’s 9:30am and we are finally getting to bed.

We had an overnight shift at a large refugee processing center. Around 2 am, we were told that a raft of refugees arrived. At 3:30 am we had not one, but two raft-loads of newly escaped refugees in our care. About 100 people.

Life vest refugee story Mary PuseyThey were soaking wet, freezing, and yet so patient as they wound through lines that offered hot tea, blankets, sleeping mats, and our tent… Dry clothes. My job was to greet them as they came in and help them find the right line. I said, “welcome!” Smiled a lot, got babies and children to smile, and used a lot of sign language.

To one woman with a baby and very young daughter, I did the same and said, “You made it.” She began to cry. I gave her a hug and she said over and over, “thank you.” So. Many. Children.

My team was incredible. Served all through the night. In our exhaustion we laughed until we hurt and promised to forget everything said in our delirious state. But we won’t forget clothing the wet in dry clothes and shoes, offering warm food, blankets, and smiling to desperate, desperate people. As we left in the morning, two of the little girls we clothed in the middle of the night recognized our faces and ran up and hugged us. Wow!

Many miracles… One is that I STILL don’t feel the tiredness I should. I felt more awake this night than I do most days. I know without a doubt that I am experiencing a supernatural sustenance of energy. Praise the Lord!!!! Thank you for your prayers. My half of the team starts a 12 hour night shift in less than 9 hours. Please pray for continued stamina!