Closed Doors and Chocolate Bunnies

A closed door is nothing new to those seeking refuge right now across Europe.  As I write this
news is unfolding in Brussels as yet another terrorist attack grips a city and shatters hearts and lives.  I pray for God’s grace and comfort for all who grieve right now.

Many might feel that this act justifies stricter laws barring refugees from entering Europe, but there are literally millions of people on the move right now in this world and hundreds of thousands of people here along the border of Europe are victims themselves of civil wars, terrorism, dictatorships and complex geo-politics that our own country participates in.  And we also must remember that the latest terrorist being brought to justice was born on European soil.

Here in Budapest we spend time today at St. Columba church that houses the Kalunba charity for refugees.  Taylor and I spoke with Dora and her staff at the mission as they run language classes to better help families integrate into Hungarian society.  The closed door sign you are seeing is from the entrance to this ministry but rather than keep people out the sign is there so that you will keep the warmth in the building for its old and drafty!  This refugee ministry is a warm, safe place for those seeking safety and the opportunity to live in a new society they did not necessarily choose but must now begin again in.

Taylor and I were greeted after our meetings today by a nine year old girl from Syria. She has been in Budapest for three years now and her father just arrived.  She spent weeks every practicing her Arabic so she could greet her father properly.  It was a joyous reunion and he is now getting language lessons from his daughter who is helping him speak Hungarian.

But before we heard her story she came over to us and held out a bag of Easter candy- chocolate bunnies wrapped in gold foil. I said thank-you and she smiled brightly.  Easter came early for her as life could begin again with her father finally reunited with the family.

The hard work perhaps is just beginning for her and her family as they make a new life here in an increasingly unwelcoming society. But even more than chocolate- this girl and her family have so much they have and want to share with their new country.  I pray that it is received.   – Derek Macleod

Originally published at