Steps toward solidarity with refugees

by emőke

„Bring nothing for your journey”! By the end of this summer, we all knew by heart these words, that we heared so many times in Taizé. And somehow, often it was so difficult, almost inpossible to understand and to put these words in practice. Now, after spending just a couple of days in a refugee camp for young people under 18 years, who are not accompanied buy adults, i think we are one step further in understanding it.

We arrived empty handed, full of ideas and maybe with a little fear in our souls, but in the end of the days, we always left with more that we could’ve imagined and with no fear. For these young children, our simple presence and patience is a great gift. We listen them, support them, explain them and share with them our knowledge and they are very gratful for that. They help us in everything we need and what is maybe more important, they consider us their friends.

Though some of them don’t speak english, when we arrive in the mornings, they greet us in a simple way by waving their hands  and sending a large smile to us. We can already feel that they trust us. Can we ask for more? Most of them come from Afganistan, Syria, Pakistan or Iraq, but there are some from Egypt and other small countries in war. After leaving their homes,  it is challenging for them, to find trust in anyone and anything, but still we try our best…

Small miracles of the day

~ I give YOU a life

There is ball game called „hot potato”. We played it on our first day. The ball was the imaginary „hot potato”. We passed the ball around, and the one who didn’t catch it, lost one life which was equal with a leg or a hand. If you don’t catch the ball four times, you are out from the game. There is always a possibility to get extra lives, and save someone’s life, but as we all want to win, why would we do that? Why would other do that? Our game with these young refugees was a lot more different than we expected. Instead of taking someone’s life, they always wanted to save it, so we found ourselves in the position of players who are playing an endless game.

~ I sing YOU a song

These young people from the Middle East like to sing! Not just ordinary pop songs, but traditional religious songs. They choose them carefully, and than they share it as their biggest gift. They are singing with an „honest joy” and sometimes you can even see a tear hiding in the corner of their big dark eyes. The other day, we sat down in a circle in the park next to their welcoming place and started to share about each-others culture. We sang them Hungarian and English folk songs, and suddenly they became so excited and happy, that they all wanted to sing us a song. We were listening for long moments. Those tears showed up in the hidden corner of our small blue eyes too. It was an honest moment. I could’ve listened for hours, but it was time for lunch…

~ I eat with YOU

When we were asked, it was obvious for us, that we will eat lunch with our refugee friends. But it was not so obvious for them. Unfortunately, the fact that we were queuing in the same line for the same simple food, surprised them. Their eyes were on us, but they were unable to say something because their mouth was full of a big slice of bread. Small towers of bread were surrounding their plates, trying to protect the very precious one plate hot food they received after a long journey. They should’ve been our guest from a far country in war, but again something turned upside-down for a short time. Some of them jumped up, leaving their plates with-ought surveillance and run to serve us with a cup of water. They even shared with us the peanuts and biscuits they  received earlier. All the walls came down.  „What a hospitality” – I though. Sharing the smallest with the poor. But who are the poor after all?

~ Building a house for YOU

… be continued