The fact of being on pilgrimage in Greece and having met and been looked after by some wonderfully kind and generous people has meant that the on-going crisis in Greece has been something that has very much been in my prayers.
I opened my emails this morning to find one from the Revd Malcom Bradshaw, the Anglican Chaplain in Athens and throughout Greece, whose congregation at St Paul’s Anglican Church have a good reputation for working with those on the edge of society. Malcolm came and spoke to us in the spectacular setting in which we ate our final dinner in Athens, looking at the floodlit acropolis. Malcolm asked me to try to get a message to the meeting of the General Synod and I will try to find a way of doing that. But I said I would also share this with all of you who have made the journey with us in the footsteps of St Paul.
Tonight [Friday] it has been stated on Greek TV that there has been 1,025% increase of migrants/refugees into Greece – Syrians and Afghans. During June 2014, 270 refugees/migrants entered Greece. The past June, 31,000 entered. They are all on the islands close to Turkey. The islanders are at a loss as to what to do. The presence of NGO’s is very limited. The Greek State has no programme for handling such numbers.
This is all happening in a country where if you happen to have a credit card you can take out Euro 50 from an ATM per day. The banks have been closed for the past fortnight. If you happen to have a credit card for a bank outside of Greece you can withdraw Euro 300 per day – for the tourists at certain locations.
We just pray that there is an agreement between the Euro Group and Greece this weekend.
The scale of the issues facing the people of Greece are beyond imagining. Hold them in your prayers.
when we have no answers
all we can do is hold
our not-knowing before you
and trust in you will and your wisdom.