Samaritan’s Purse is providing a variety of unexpected relief services at a transit center in Eastern Europe.
The invigorating feel of a fresh haircut or a new dress. The fun of kicking around a soccer ball or flying a kite. The confidence of being seen by a medical professional.
A Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is providing all of these experiences and more to Afghanistan evacuees at a transit center in Eastern Europe. Of the tens of thousands of Afghan citizens who fled their country at the end of August, 800 men, women, and children made it safely to this camp. Here the Afghans eagerly await word of which country will become their future home. In part due to their warm and dignified welcome by Samaritan’s Purse, the atmosphere at the center remains upbeat and hopeful.
“Many of the people that we are helping had decent paying jobs,” said David Ang, a DART member. “They had careers up until three weeks ago. They had decent standing in their communities, they had the opportunity to provide for their families and all of the sudden that is wiped out.”
The DART team is providing basic services like hair cutting and clothes to those in the center.
“What I love about the barber, hairdresser, dresses, and scarves is that the team is going beyond life-saving needs,” said Deb Go, Samaritan’s Purse Afghan response manager. “We’re making sure evacuees are cared for as individuals and treating people to simple things they might be longing for, especially after having undergone a traumatic situation.”
Offering Medical Care
In recent days, we’ve begun supplementing the medical services in the camp with DART medical staff to care for the physical needs.
In previous weeks, Samaritans Purse has been working to care for partners and former staff who remain in Afghanistan. We continue to assess the needs in this constantly changing region to determine how best to serve vulnerable families in need both in-country and for those who have evacuated.
Through all these activities, Samaritan’s Purse is working to bless and encourage our Afghan brothers and sisters in this time.
“We’re all made in the image of God and dignity is important,” Hobie said. Helping evacuees maintain their dignity is a concrete step toward loving our neighbor as Jesus calls us to do in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10).
“We’re all made in the image of God and dignity is important.”
From the chaos at the Kabul airport to temporary housing in the foreign culture of Eastern Europe, these families already have been through a traumatic journey in search of refuge. As our DART continues working, we hope that each haircut or medical exam given by Samaritan’s Purse in Jesus’ Name will point to the true refuge of our souls (Hebrews 6:18-19).
“I’m just hopeful that God will reveal Himself here in the camp,” Hobie said, “and as He does that, it’ll be reinforced when they get to their final destination.”
Please continue to pray that Afghanistan evacuees will be comforted and encouraged. Pray for the Samaritan’s Purse DART to serve them well. Pray for our continued efforts to care for those who remain in Afghanistan.