God's Timing

Posted by Kaylee K on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Under: Italy
Going to Italy. Why now? Why there? How can this be serving? How can it be ministry? These are questions that sit beneath the surface of my brain as we prepare for our upcoming vision trip with IAFR.

As I read a devastating article (see Refugee News tab) about the recent burning of the refugee center in Lampedusa, Italy, the answers are clear. God's timing is perfect and He knows the work He has prepared us for.

The refugee crisis is causing suffering in Italy and not just for the asylum seekers (those who hope to receive the status of refugee). The 5,000 inhabitants of the small island of Lampedusa are overwhelmed by the thousands of asylum seekers who have arrived on their shores this year from North Africa. They need help and they are angry because help is not arriving. This anger is dangerous as the mayor of the island has called this a war and claimed the people of his community want to come out with clubs to deal with the "problem".

And the suffering is, of course, also experienced by those who seek asylum. The facility discussed in the article is intended to house 800 or so, and before the fire more than 1,300 were there. Many hundreds of Tunisians are not receiving refugee status because their situation is being found to have an economic cause rather than a life-threatening political or religious cause and so they were told they will be returned to their country. The fear this stirred drove some to revolt and put themselves and fellow asylum seekers in danger. This is a sad, scary situation for all.

The refugee crisis in Italy has so many factors and so many implications. There are political issues within the country and between Italy and other EU nations that are reaching critical levels (see Mission Italy tab for information). There are people literally dieing in boats as they try to reach the shores of Italy and there are Italian citizens whose way of life are threatened by the masses of strangers who, it must seem to the Italians, seem to be invading their country. We truly need God's intervention into this situation. We need the love and compassion of Jesus to blanket this country.

God's timing and plans are perfect. He is already in Italy. He already knows the needs. How amazing that He calls His people to be a part of His solutions. I am humbled to be called to go and be with the ministries who are trying to be the conduits of this love and compassion. I ask for your prayers for the journey, for these ministries and for both the Italian citizens and those seeking asylum.

In : Italy 

Tags: refugees  "asylum seekers"  italy  jesus 

Blog Authors

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.

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