There is a desperate cry to help with humanitarian needs and ministry to the refugees, from various organisations and centres in Europe. This project has a three-fold purpose.
1. Physical humanitarian assistance and involvement.
2. Viability assessment for future teams from South Africa.
3. Facilitation and networking.
1. Physical, practical humanitarian involvement. My first goal will be to become involved practically with humanitarian work and assist in the ministry to gain experience and insight into what is being done and what is needed in order to lend significant assistance. Samaritans Purse is doing extensive humanitarian work in Greece and other locations, http://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/refugee-crisis-in-europe/ http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/voyage-to-a-second-life/ There is a South African couple, the Van Niekerk family who works in Macedonia and they are also asking for help. The help they need is hands on assistance to deal with the day-to-day activities in ministry and physical humanitarian help to the refugees. I foresee spending at least 10 – 14 days in practical hands-on humanitarian relief work. Other organisations I will connect with who are involved are Serving In Mission, International Baptist Convention and independent workers.
2. Viability assessment for future teams from South Africa. To investigate the long-term possibilities for South African volunteer teams to help with humanitarian and ministry work among the refugees and immigrants in Europe. To evaluate and determine as far as possible what would be needed and what logistical arrangements with which organisation will best work for South Africans to help.
If feasible, this could result in longer-term opportunities to take volunteer groups from South Africa to assist. I aim to assess how to help into the future. The Van Niekerks in Macedonia is a smaller group without the massive organisational support that Samaritans Purse brings. I need to assess and evaluate where and how to help.
3. Facilitation and networking. I have received requests for assistance from four locations in Europe for help in ministry development. I have had calls for help from Norway, Ukraine, Holland and Egypt. In all four countries, we have had requests to help in ministry and developing sustainable assistance. In each case, the primary request is for personnel and development, not for funding.
My goal will be to facilitate the connection between those who are already at work in Europe and those requesting help. In the long term this connection, networking and forming partnerships is the best way to go. They know the cultural context best. I will do onsite visits, if possible to the four locations from which I have received requests for help and have made contact. I hope to facilitate personal connections with those who are needing help. I have tried to facilitate this process via email and Skype but it’s not happening. So it’s time to step in and facilitate personal introductions and forge partnerships.
Plan of action.
I will fly into Switzerland, the Schengen visa application is easiest and it is most central. The SIM Europe director is based in Switzerland and I hope to travel with him to some of the areas where help is being given. He will be a key person for Egypt, Ukraine and Holland. Rev. William Colledge from the International Baptist Convention church in Zurich will be key in helping with the logistics. Getting to visit the Van Niekerks in Macedonia, and visiting the work in Holland will not be problematic from Switzerland.
I anticipate being able to leave by mid/late June to be back sometime in mid/late July.
Looking at major travel costs I estimate that I would need about South African R 50 000. This is also taking into consideration the current SA rand and euro exchange rate.
Should you want to financially support this ministry:-
SIM SA Bank Details: Standard Bank,
Blue Route Branch, Code 025609,
Account Name SIM Southern Africa,
Account Number 072877014
Step 1: Reference deposit with “DONOR’S NAME— Jooste/Eurasia
Project number: 509002, Country code: 074 – for correct allocation and accounting.
Step 2: Fax 086-603-1383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with name, postal address and details of deposit for receipting and confirmation.