Thousands of refugees from the Middle East risk their lives and flee from the war, hoping to get help in Western countries. But many find themselves in refugee camps, where life is hardly better than where they came from. Six thousand refugees housed in a camp in France, known as “the Jungle”. They traveled over three thousand miles in search of a better life.
Here they traveled on foot, on trains, in boats and on buses. These people escaped from persecution and endured hardships on the way, and ended up in the camp with the eloquent title “the Jungle”, where almost no sanitary facilities and assistance of the authorities.
“They were never able to develop an effective policy, taking into account the size of camp and number of people in it,” says Christine Edinger, public relations Director of the organization “Convoy of hope”.
The ‘Jungle’ camp is located in the city of Calais, only thirty kilometers from the UK, where I hope to move many of the residents in the camp.
“For them, this camp is the last refuge. Most people who come here, I think that will soon be in England, but stuck here. Such a protracted agony,” — says Michael Macnamee, General Director of “convoy of hope”.
“Jungle” is one of the worst refugee camps in all of France. The organization “Convoy of hope”, which is a partner of CBN, is working on the site, founding of the Church and giving to the people in need that can help them improve their lives.
“Most of the problems these people are social, physical and spiritual character and, thanks to the CBN Finance, we provide them with stoves, food, ponchos, tents, different materials,” says Michael Macnamee.
Since the summer the number of people in the “Jungle” has increased from three thousand to six. Every day comes another 150 people.
“We were able to open our first Church here in the camp. It has 18 mosques. In the camp there is also one Orthodox Church. And now it appeared first Evangelical Church. The first service we had about twenty people, and now on Saturday a meeting attended by about sixty people,” says Christine Edinger.
But not all welcome the Church in a place like “the Jungle”. Trying to prevent the enemies to spoil the Church tent, the staff of the “Convoy of hope” was built around it more sturdy shelters for Christian families. Besides the fact that they can live, they also protect the Church. But even with these shelters, life here is far from easy.
“People live in very poor conditions. Reigns almost complete lack of sanitation. There are port-a-potties, but they are not often clean, and they fill up quickly. And the shower is just a hose from the taps, people wash squatting. Practically in open space they squat and clean,” says Christine Edinger.
Allowed to take shower once a week, but, in the words of one Syrian refugee, washing it is difficult to call: “Sometimes waiting an hour or two, and taking a shower is given only five minutes. Sometimes a turn pass, and then come back the next day or the day after,” — says the guy is 26 years old.
Of the six thousand refugees in the “Jungle” only about three hundred Syrians, the rest came from North Africa and the Middle East. One Syrian has described to us the situation in his native country, from which he fled: “the Situation there every day it becomes worse because no one knows how it ends. Syria: leaving home to buy something, you can’t be sure that he will come back. There is terrible”.
For these refugees the terrorist attacks in Paris serve as a painful reminder of life in the country.
“The people here were shocked by what happened in Paris, because they all came from countries where there had been such cases,” — say the refugees. They also Express their condolences to the victims: “We are very, very sorry about what happened in France and Europe. We are very saddened by this,” say refugees.
The refugees understand that the Western countries are afraid of them, but claim that they are victims of ISIS, not its members: “terrorism has neither religion nor nationality. And the terrorists themselves distorted way of thinking. It would be unfair to say that all these people from ISIS or that they are terrorists,” says one of the Syrian refugees.
A British philanthropist, living with the refugees in the Jungle, agrees that most of them are not a threat: “they All fled from ISIS or something like that. These people are not dangerous. Many of them are sincere and good,” he says.
According to Michael, Maknami “Convoy of hope”, even if there are members of ISIS, they also need to communicate the gospel message: “If you want to know, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that in this camp there are members of ISIS, but they are a minority. And, of course, the God we love, the same Jesus, risen from the dead, who loves all, He can also give us the opportunity to touch these people who are also in the minority. We must not dwell on the extremists and forget about the 97% of people who do suffer need,” he says.
The founding of the Church and providing different services, “Convoy of hope” brings much needed light into a very dark place.
“In this camp for the first time Muslims hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. They’re desperate, they need help, and because they are open. They want to take care of them. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind to see. And thank you CBN for all that you are doing here, and what else is going to do. Will sacrifice in the name of Jesus, and God let him do his job,” says Michael Macnamee.
No one knows how long the French government will allow to stay here in this refugee camp, but now, when winter sets in, remember the prayers of the inhabitants of the camp “the Jungle”, because of their living conditions get worse.