More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggle to cope with the influx.  Thousands of displaced persons continue to pour into Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and various parts of northern Africa.  Trying to meet the needs of the migrants has put a tremendous strain on local economics and governments, as well as social and relief organizations.

Rev. Ivan Abrahams, top executive for the World Methodist Council, calls migration “one of the defining issues of the 21st century” and an opportunity for Methodism to honor its historic commitment to those on the margins.  By partnering with local organizations in grassroots efforts, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)a is active serving refugees and migrants throughout Europe.  Our February mission is to support UMCOR in its relief efforts for the migrants.

Volunteers are doing their best to provide basic supplies and practical assistance to thousands.  These efforts include: distributing emergency food vouchers in many countries; providing food and hygiene kits on the Greek Islands of Kos and Lesbos; working in refugee camps and transit zones in Hungary; offering psychosocial services to children in two welcome centers in Hungary; setting up and staffing baby supply and bath centers in Budapest; and providing language classes, fellowship groups and legal counseling in Germany.

We can offer our prayers for the migrants and a peaceful end to the violence causing the widespread dislocation thousands.  Please also consider financial support for UMCOR’s efforts.  You really can make a difference.