Each year hundreds of thousands of North African migrants leave their families and communities and travel to Europe in search of work. Port cities in Spain, France and Italy are key entry points, and whilst migrating has its advantages for many, for others finding secure employment and arriving in an unfamiliar city with an alien culture and language can be extremely challenging. Many migrants are left feeling isolated and disoriented and those who are struggling often don’t know who to turn to.
Last summer Elisha went on short-term mission to Málaga, a city on the south coast of Spain known for its golden beaches and great weather. But rather than hitting the beach, Elisha came alongside a long-term project called Diez42*, which serves some 200 migrant families each week.
“I got involved with the Diez42 foodbank and also spent a significant amount of time helping with an English club for 5 to 12-year olds. From preparing daily craft activities, to decorating the classroom and playing games with the children, helping to lead this club was extremely rewarding. Around 20 children came each day and amongst other activities, they heard the gospel - many for the first time! The children’s mothers also had their own craft sessions whilst the English club took place. This allowed relationships to be built, helping the mothers to learn new skills and gain confidence in their Spanish.
If you're able to go on a short-term mission, do make the most of the opportunity. Never before had I spoken to people from five different continents in the space of two hours. Never before had I witnessed such dedication to sharing the love of Jesus.”
Short-term mission can be hugely beneficial. For the long-term team they gain an extra pair of hands, helping them have greater capacity to reach out to the communities they serve. For short-term volunteers, they gain a greater perspective of God’s kingdom purposes across the nations and can have their faith stretched and grown. Overseas mission doesn’t have to be far away; across Europe there is much spiritual and practical need… could you give up some time this summer to get involved? Many of the SWAN partners have European mission opportunities and they would love to hear from you.
*The Diez42 project is part of #HowWillTheyHear - a campaign that brings together global Christian agencies that have a heart to reach migrants in the UK, across Europe and in the Middle East. ECM is one of its partners.