As expected, migrants keep on arriving on the shores of Lampedusa island. Over the last week, more than 1500 people left Lybian ports and made it. Unfortunately, there are more than 500 people missing. They shipwrecked during the sailing. The civil war in Lybia makes it difficult to control what happens on the coast. So refugees willing to cross the Mediterranean are going there hoping to find a boat for them.
On the Italian side, we keep on assisting local authorities and charities in helping those who come to Lampedusa. NTs distribution is the main thing, because the refugees are immediately taken to other parts of the country.
There is an interesting development in Mineo (Catania, Sicily) where a refugee centre with more than 2000 people is located. Our workers are developing an important relationship with the Mayor of this little village. The small hall of the local Evangelical church is used to show the movie Jesus in different languages to the refugees and to provide internet connections for them to communicate with their families. The Mayor also agreed to show the film Jesus in the town hall as a kind of cinema.
Next Saturday (18th June), the Italian Evangelical Alliance is hosting a seminar in Rome on the theme “Integration away from Emergency”. It will be a time for reflection on what has been happening so far in the attempt to overcome the culture of emergency. Since these phenomena will stay with us long term, our responsibility as Christians is to act beyond emergency and towards fair practices and higher standards of justice. Four Italian MPs will join the seminar. They are intrigued by what Evangelicals are doing and the good example given to the nation. What has been done so far has always put the Gospel first and God is honoring the work, in the midst of struggles of course.
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Alleanza Evangelica Italiana vicolo S. Agata 20 00153 Roma IBAN IT 64 N 07601 03200 000046728002 SWIFTBPPIITRRXXX Rome, 16th June 2011