Turkey (MNN) — The refugee crisis is already a mess; now, the deal between Turkey and the EU is aiding another layer.
The deal is relying on Turkey to end smuggling of immigrants into European nations–specifically Greece–and to take back illegal immigrants who have already crossed the border. In return, Turkey citizens would receive enhanced visa-free travel in the Schengen Area, 6 billion euros, and accelerated talks of Turkey’s membership as part of the EU.
Several countries have voiced their concerns.
Citing AFP News, Yahoo News reports France has been wary of Turkey trying to intimidate Europe. Czech President Milos Zeman has agreed, saying the demand of billions for Turkey’s capital, Ankara, is next to blackmail.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel is arguing that this deal “could give us, for the first time, a real chance at a sustainable and pan-European solution to the refugee crisis.”
If the deal is passed, thousands of smuggled-in refugees will be sent back to Turkey, which currently has more than 2.5 million registered refugees. For each refugee sent back, another will be legally placed into an EU nation.
Refugee camps in Turkey are packed tightly, and many government organizations are giving aid. But Steve Van Valkenberg with Christian Aid Mission says, “If you’re not in the right kind of refugee settlement, you’re not getting help from the UN or any of these other NGOs or governments.”
More and more refugees are picking random spots like fields or city squares to drop the little they have and call home. They have no opportunities to work for money, food, or supplies. They’re easily overlooked, aid is rarely given to them, and many are living under tarps or blankets.
Christian Aid Mission’s indigenous ministry partners are among the few bringing aid to these specific groups.
“Just because of the nature of being a Christian, we have a tendency to want to go out and help those who are the most vulnerable–the ones who have the greatest needs.”
With funds from Christian Aid Mission donors, partners are giving food, blankets, medicine, shoes, and New Testaments.
Supplies have been a gateway to telling refugees about Christ. Each item is given in His name. Christian workers let people know about the love Jesus has for them while also providing New Testaments in their heart languages. Many may not believe in Christ, but they are curious and want to hear about Him. Van Valkenberg says this leads to hope and people coming to know the Lord.
“The very Biblical ideas that we take for granted about God’s care, and God’s love, and the hope of eternal life in heaven. Those basic things give them great hope.”
The EU-Turkey deal will be decided soon and could bring a rush of more refugees. When they come, will you help Christian Aid Mission partners welcome them with open arms and the love of Christ? Help restore hope by donating through Christian Aid Mission. Baby formula and shoes are desperately needed. Just $20 can change or even save a life.
Pray for open hearts among the refugees to receive God’s message of hope and eternal life.