4th Summer Sport’s Camp for Refugees

27 07 2016
Sport's_Camp_2016
 
We are delighted that we will be able to host our 4th Summer Sport’s camp for refugees from 1-6 August 2016. In Europe, things are getting difficult and refugees are not so welcome. Recent events in Europe have created more difficulties for refugees. Natural reaction would be that we react in a way that is not pleasing to our God. We want to follow God’s word and care for Refugees and migrants. We as God’s people never be intimiated by violence but see that our calling is to serve those in need and thus proclaim the love of God. The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated at the cross the violence can be defeated with love. Christ gave his life as a sacrifice to others so that others can have life eternal. As his disciples, we will walk in the path of our Master.We want to serve our Master for his glory. This means, we will not always be comfortable, or without troubles. We are his instruments in bringing changes in the lives of people who may like or may not like us. We want to be the Salt of the earth (Matt.5:13) which protects, preserves and bring changes in others.  So, don’t be discouraged by what is going on in Europe, but be energised to live for Christ and share his love with others. Only God’s love can change hardened hearts.
So, will you pray for our sport’s camp and ask God to be our help, strength, joy and delight. Pray that many refugees may come, join us and be blessed by the Love of God through his people. This year, we have two teams from USA and Northern Ireland joining us with the glocan German believers. Antidote to alienation is relationship, love and care. If you are in Karlsruhe, come and join us.




A Refugee’s Funeral

20 07 2016

Today, I went with some of the Tamil friends to a refugee’s funeral in the north of Germany. This refugee was killed in an accident on 6.4.2016. At that time, we were in Croatia for our ECM Bianniel Conference. As soon as we heard this, we left Croatia to come back to Germany to give support and probably help with the funeral for this refugee. This young man came from Sri Lanka and lived neary 4 years in Germany, waiting for his application for asylum being approved. When he arrived first, I met him in the reception center and got to know him well. Eventually, I found out that he was related to me through my mother’s side, but I never met him before until he was in Germany. His name was Baskaran, married with two children. He often came to our Tamil church, where he showed real interest in the Gospel. Eventually, he moved to another camp and we still met each other time to  time. Until, we got the devated news that he was killed in a Car accident, on his way to renew his temporary Visa to stay here and work.

We thought, it is a matter of getting things organised and get his wife and children to Germany so that they can see the body of husband and their father. Well, I did not realise how hard it was to get a Visa for his family or a funeral organised for a refugee.  Almost all the offices that we went gave us very little help and basically told us, we are not his relative and can do nothing. What they said was true that many of his friends were not his relatives, but they were the only ones he had in his life in Germany. In fact, his friends were his mother, father, brother, cousin and more. Many people do not realise that when a refugee comes to another country, he has no ones with him or her except his friends (I am generalising here but there are several refugees have come with their families too).

Ironically, this Refugee man was very popular among Tamil people because of his ability to play very good Volleyball and other sports.  He He also played for a local German Volleyball team and won several matches for them. He was a star on his own right and he had many friends in the area where he lived.  However, nothing helped this poor man’s family to see their beloved one’s dead body soon. His wife’s application for a Visa to come to Germany was rejected several times eventually they gave here Visa with the Condition that she should leave her both sons at home and then go to Germany, do the funeral and other necessary things and come back. It took, nearly 3 1/2 months to get the Visa, while their beloved one’s body was laying around  in a cool room.  This was a real difficult time for a wife and children. This is how many refugee families go through ordeals like this.

Suddenly,  I heard from his wife that she was coming on 17th July and her husband’s body will be burried on 19th July. I really thank God for the embassy people who finally helped her get a visa and praise the Lord for theim. So, I re-oranised all my things to go to the funeral and say good bye to this lovely man who was seeking a Saviour. I contacted some of his friends who were also planning to go and I joined them and traveled together this morning (4 1/2 hours drive from my place).  When we arrived at the funeral place, we were all very eager to see his body and say goodbye to him personally (seeing the body and giving the last respect is a very cultural thing in the   South East). However, we were told, we will not be able to see his body, because it was not kept in a proper cooling place. The funeral man told me, he could not understand why but his body was in a bad shape and they could not clothe his body but just covered the body with a long clothe. It was a real shock to his friends and they were all so sad. However, in my mind, I was wondering, why they did not keep his body in a freezer? We are told that the insurace company would have paid all the money necessary.  Was that the reason that he was a refugee who was no body? No relatives here, no wealth, he had nothing! This thought is still linkering in my mind.

Baskaran was a good husband, he adored his two boys and dreamed that they will come to Germany and do well. He loved his wife and tried to phone her daily and asked of her well being. However, his life came to an end in a country where he fled for safety. He was burried in a place where he never ever visited or even known this place. His two children were not at the funeral, his wife was his only close relative and others all were his friends. Who said coming to Europe will solve all the problems! In fact, I thought, what a sad situation that each refugee must face in the light of death in their lives. The Lord Jesus offers us an amazing comfort, “ “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” (John 11:25). This is the only comfort anyone can have  and need to have. So, will you pray for Baskarn’s wife, two children, his parents and siblings. Pray that the justice be done for him and for his family, as they face an unexpected life before them. May the Lord be their help and strength.

Click here for the photos from the accident in 6.04.2106

http://www.heidelberg24.de/region/fotos-leon-rot-toedlicher-unfall-richtung-heidelberg-auto-zerdrueckt-6285492.html

 





Refugees in Europe: Identity and Integration

3 03 2016

Integration, Inclusion and Interclusion

I have been living a life for over 25 years as migrant in various cultures, societies and so on. Of course this has amazing impact on my life. So, I have been thinking for a long time a possible and helpful way to address the whole issue of Integration and Inclusion. This help me to coin my own word “Interclusion”. Here is a video that suggest this idea. It is not complete but we can continue to work on how we can help and support others to feel at home. By the way, my thoughts are very much based on the Christian Worldview and unchanging Word of God. Therefore, the idea of “Interclusion” suited for people who share the same Worldview as I am. With Jesus on our side, we can do more to help others to find a home with us. To be part of Interclusion, you need the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to give and take for His glory. Please watch the video below. 

http://evangelicalfocus.com/multimedia/1417/Refugees_in_Europe_Identity_and_integration





From Exclusion to Inclusion

7 10 2015

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This year European Evangelical Alliance’s general meeting is taking place in Germany. The Theme is “From Exclusion to Inclusion”. It is a very important topic for many churches in Europe, where many migrants feel excluded and not understood. I am delighted that EEA is taking lead in this important issue in time in Europe. Will you please pray for this event. Of course one of the main interest in the assembly is also reaching out to Refugees. We have had already some wonderful time. Pray for these European Evangelical leaders may be let by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We cannot exclude God’s people from his church simply because they are different, comes from different cultures, or have different practices. It is important that we recognize that God’s intention is to include all his people into his family. We need to see the way God sees his people. We all are different does not mean we don’t belong to each other. We have One heavenly Father, we are his children. In a family there are various members, we all share the same values but some of them may not behave the way others in a same family. So, we try our best to get along and still consider them in our family as well. Of course this not the perfect illustration, but you get my point. If we see someone belong to us, we will not make their differences so huge that keeps us away from each other, rather we seek to minimize the issue so that we can function as a loving family. In other words, love for the family member overrides the desire of excluding him or her from where they belong. This is a good place for us to start to not to exclude people who are unlike others from our church families but seek to serve them in God’s love for his glory. Of course, inclusion does not mean, we do not have boundaries. God has give us in his word what are the boundaries for His church.We will keep his boundaries which are there to keep his family safe for his glory.





Migrant Tragedies

28 08 2015
death_in_a_Lorry_2015_austria

taken from the Gardian

Few days ago we heard that two boats full of migrants sank off Libya and 200 migrants are still missing. Yesterday, there was an another tragedy of finding a Lorry in Austrian with nearly 70 bodies of suffocated migrants. These stories have broken our hearts and makes us all so sad. People are desperate to get to Europe to get a new life but some of them are ending their lives in a tragic way. I just want to post this on my blog to show that these needy people are risking their lives for better lives on this earth. Well, we as Christians know all human lives are precious in the sight of our God, who took on the human flesh to demonstrate to us that He cares for his created human beings like no other. My heart cries for these migrants who have passed into the eternity, perhaps without knowing their Creator. It is our duty that we care for these migrants before they die, before they passed  into eternity without their God. This means, we as Christians have a moral duty to ask our governments to protect these migrants who look for a place of Refuge. How we do this, I think, we each have to find our way to do things in a way that honours our Lord Jesus Christ. For me, I want to call upon the Lord to be their Refuge and protect these migrants from these tragedies for His glory. Also, seek a way to be influential in our churches, in our communities to show that God loves migrants  and share our lives with these migrants for the glory of God (Deut.10:18).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34082304

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/08/28/at-least-70-bodies-migrants-found-in-truck-along-austria-highway-officials-say/?intcmp=hpbt4http://http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/28/more-than-70-dead-austria-migrant-truck-tragedy





Migrant Sport’s Camp 2015

20 07 2015

Sportcamp_ 2015 Very soon, we will be having our Summer Sport’s Camp for refugees in Karlsruhe. This would be our third time.  Many refugees appreciated that we took  time and enabled refugees to use their Sport’s skills. We want to do the same thing this year. One of our goals is to connect second generation migrant young people and refugees. Last year, we so many second generation of migrants joining refugees and doing activities together. We want them to connect with refugees. Many second generation migrant young people did not realize there are thousands of refugees coming from their own parents countries. We want to see this year more second generation to join us and support and help refugees in their town.  Our prayer is that we will have enough people to work with us and sufficient funds to run the camp. So far, we are blessed with good responses. Will you continue to pray for us and for this week. We also want to expose the local Christians to refugees and their abilities. Refugees have strong will, willing to adapt to any situation and have a undying hunger for success. They may be victims of their own circumstances but they can overcome their hardships and horrors. We see that Sport’s camp is a an amazing opportunity to bring out their abilities and provide them confidence for their lives.  In this way, we want to glorify God and give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for refugees that we will meet. We have no doubt that as Christians we want to care for refugees’ physical and spiritual needs for His glory.





Medical Care for a Refugee in Heidelberg Universitätsklinikum (University Hospital)

13 07 2015

IMG_2449[1]

About an year ago, one of the refugee friends who  came to me and told me that he has a swollen foot and it is very painful. So, I took him to doctors and hospitals etc for few months, before we were told that there may be  a possibility of cancer. So, we were asked to go to Heidelberg Orthopädische Clinic. So, I went with young man who was so worried and afraid of the future. As a translator, I have to spend hours and hours to stay with him. When we arrived at the Heilderberg Hospital, only to find that we did not have a particular paper from the young man’s home Doctor (GP). We were discouraged. However, there  was a particular man who was so helpful and went beyond his time to help us, for which we were thankful. After that,  we had to come back again with the letter. So, we did. When we came back, we needed to find a particular office to get an appointment for a biopsy. We as strangers were asking people and trying find this office without any success. Finally, we found person who was walking towards us and she looked like a Doctor. So, I went and asked that lady to tell us where this office was. This lady, looked at us and realised that we needed  help (we have asked few others but none of them had time to explain or guides us to this office). So, this lady asked us to follow her, we followed her to the office which we were seeking. After that the Dr.lady told us that the secretary will take care of us and went. I was moved with her compassion for the strangers and foreigners. So, I asked the secretary the name of the Dr. lady who brought us to the office. The secretary told us, Dr. lady was Dr. Renker who is the Consultant for the section. Wow, we were so thankful that a person in that position should take  us and spend some time for us. I thank God for her and prayed for Dr. Renker. Then of course, we had another date for an operation, after several delays, finally two weeks ago this young man was operated and the findings were positive that his tumor was not malignant. So, I was there last Wednesday to bring this young man back from the hospital after nearly 3 weeks. We waited nearly 2 hours but I could not find the Doctor who suppose to give us a letter and discharge the young man. Again, I went out find someone to ask  what is happening. Lo and behold, Dr.Ranker was walking towards me and she was very busy with something. I have just said hello and asked her how did the operation go? She was very kind and explained to me in details. Then, I told her, I am waiting to take the young man back to the refugee camp and I waiting for a doctor to come. She told me, “I will go and find out what is going on”. So, I went into the young man’s room and waited few minutes. Dr. Ranker came back with the letter in her and told me we can go. Again, I was blessed with this lady for here caring attitude towards the strangers. I asked, will it be ok for me to take a picture with the young man, and she happily agreed. Well, I must say German’s doctors (most of them) are wonderful people who do not see a refugee in front of them but treat them with dignity and care. I also witnessed in the same Hospital, how other doctors treat well refugees and migrants who come to them. I just want to thank these Doctors who have really taken care of refugees with so many health issues. Thank you all for what you have been doing for refugees, we will pray for you all. The young man told me that the people in the Hospital were so kind and so helpful. He also want to thank the Heidelberg Hospital and doctors, nurses and all those who helped him in anyway they can. He was over whelmed by the love the German people showed him.