As the Middle East refugee situation continues to be a significant consideration on the Eurasia Region, international and regional leaders for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) met with representatives from the Eastern Mediterranean, Central Europe, and Northern Europe fields in early December. The meetings were held in Budapest in various forms, including Skype and face-to-face discussions. The objective was to develop a coordinated strategy for engaging refugees as they exit their origin countries and settle in other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean Field or transit through the Balkans to settle in destination countries across Central and Northern Europe.

Strategies being developed include an effort to create a consistent identity for Nazarene workers across the three fields. As volunteers serve in various locations across the journey, there is an intentional effort to be a safe, dependable and compassionate presence identifiable as NCM.

Each field is looking at avenues of compassion and opportunities to offer intentional relationship. It is understood that the changes wrought by such a significant influx of people require all cultures to make room, to be flexible, and to learn from one another.

An initial outcome of the refugee response meetings was to agree on terminology going forward. For instance, to no longer negatively refer to the current events as a “crisis.” Rather, in recognizing that God is sovereignly guiding what is a kairos (Greek for “right” or “opportune”) moment for the Church, it is better described as a “refugee situation” or “event.” Additionally, some fields, such as Central Europe Field, are comprised of both transit and destination countries, therefore, references to the refugee exodus are distinguished by categories of origin country, transit country, and destination country.

While three fields were represented in the current meeting, the refugee exodus, transit, and resettlement includes countries from additional Nazarene fields, which are being considered in the strategy.

Global Nazarenes have been generous with giving toward the refugee response and meetings are taking place this week between Arthur Snijders, Eurasia Regional director, and Joerg Eich, Eurasia NCM coordinator, to review the developed strategy and determine the financial picture.

This meeting was only the beginning of an intended, developing region-wide refugee response strategy.

— Reposted from the December 2015 edition of Where Worlds Meet. To sign up to receive the monthly newsletter in your email, scroll to the bottom of the screen.