Helping Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
Quotes Worth Pondering
Posted by Kaylee K on Monday, February 15, 2016
Here are some quotes that deserve our consideration, which I gathered during our time at the Refugee Highway Partnership European Roundtable and in our meetings with the Italian Evangelical Alliance and a church in Pescara:
“If God put these kind of people here, then the Lord is telling us who our neighbor is.” – Giacomo, our host in Pescara as he talked about helping refugees in Italy.
“Building relationships and becoming part of the local community shrinks time to normalcy [for the refugee] in half.” – wisdom from the Trauma workshop
“Make sure women and girls are learning the local language. They need they’re voice.” – wisdom from session on trafficking of women in Europe
“The Church is God’s plan for the nations. We represent unity and diversity.” – Chris, who led us in our morning teaching and devotional each day.
“If you don’t want to die in the desert and you don’t want to die in the sea, you die in Libya. So, I chose the sea.” – shared by a refugee man from Nigeria who recounted to us his story of fleeing Nigeria via the desert than arriving in Libya and having to stay many months to save money to then risk his life traveling by boat across the Mediterranean to Italy.
We heard a story from one ministry in Germany that when refugees arrive there they say: “Tell us about your God because your people loved us first.” (These refugees had met Christians at their point of entry in Greece.)
“This [the influx of refugees] is not a problem to be solved. This is an opportunity.” – Rob (We also heard others who work with refugees here in Europe say their arrival is actually an answer to prayers as the Church desires to reach the nations for God and God has put the refugee now at their door.)
“When God says something, He will do it. When God does something, it is because He’s said it.” – Pastor Pietro, in Pescara.
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John and Kaylee Kolditz
Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.
Refugee Stories (4)
Unaccompanied Refugee Youth (6)
unaccompanied refugee children