I Was Hungry And You Fed Me

The words of Jesus ring true in Athens on Saturday 1 August 2015. While in Northern Europe media focus is on the “migrant crisis” in Calais and its effects on Britain and France the continuing ministry of Greek churches, including the Anglican chaplaincy of Greater Athens is a daily challenge.

Canon Malcolm Bradshaw has sent this illustrated story to help our understanding and prayers, and also in the hope that Christians around Europe may be able to respond with financial help to this work which is part of our Gospel calling.

Donations can be sent to:
The Reverend Canon Malcolm Bradshaw, c/o the British Embassy, Ploutarchou 1, Athens, 10675

At 7.15 am these Afghan refugees (pictured above) arrived in Victoria Sq in central Athens after being brought by ferry boat from the Greek Islands. Fr Malcolm first met then on the metro as they travelled up from Pireaus harbour. Captain Polis Pandelidis of the Salvation Army is giving out sandwiches. There was a reluctance to receive the sandwiches until a child took one.

At 7.30am Captain Polis and Fr Malcolm carry food provided by the Salvation Army to a park close to Victoria Sq. where between three hundred to eight hundred Afghan refugees are encamped at any one time.

Captain Polis and Fr Malcolm meet up with others who have brought food - freshly baked cheese pies from a local bakery.

Fr Malcolm and Captain Polis (behind) leave sandwiches outside the tents. The sandwiches are made up the evening before by volunteers at the Salvation Army H.Q.

Another view of Captain Polis and Fr Malcolm distributing the sandwiches. Milk was also given to families with children.

Tea is served. Much loved by the Afghans. Note no women in the queue. The women stay in the tents even at temperatures of 40 C following the tradition in Afghanistan where they tend to remain in the home.

Two chemical toilets for so many people! Note the water bottles for attending to personal hygiene. An attempt at personal dignity.

This is the washing facility – a hose pipe around a bench. A shower is nearby – a piece of cloth draped around trees.