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Update: Refugee Emergency in Italy

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12 April 2011

The situation in North Africa is still dramatically fluid and waves of refugees keep on crossing the Mediterranean Sea. So far, figures say that more nearly 30.000 people have crossed it, with some casualties among them. Most of the people come from Tunisia but an increasing number come from Eritrea, Somalia, Ivory Coast and other African countries. Lampedusa island is still in an emergency situation due to the fact that while thousands of refugees have been relocated elsewhere, others are coming on a daily basis.

The relief work coordinated by the Italian Evangelical Alliance has been in the forefront of the emergency. Groups of volunteers are operating in Lampedusa, in Mineo (Sicily), in Manduria (Puglia) and in other places where emergency centres have been set up.

They work in close cooperation with local authorities and local churches. So far they have been distributing blankets, clothes, shoes, toothpaste, etc. that have been collected by churches and humanitarian agencies. They are also allowed to distribute New Testaments in Arabic and other languages. Generally speaking, the response to their work has been very appreciative and encouraging. The film Jesus in Arabic as also been shown in different places. There have been lots of opportunities to witness to God’s love and to show His compassion to people who are looking for hope. The Gospel is about eternal salvation and a restored human dignity in Jesus Christ.

Every day the situation changes. It is difficult to preview what it will be like in a few weeks. In the meantime, other people from churches and mission agencies are offering their voluntary time and energy to be involved in the relief work in the near future. We do not know the times and the ways of God’s providence. What we know is that what we have now is a window of opportunities for Gospel work. 

Please, keep on praying for us! Thank you.

 Alleanza Evangelica ItalianaVicolo S. Agata 2000153 Roma – Italiawww.alleanzaevangelica.org