George in Pireaus, Athens

Thousands of refugees in the Athens port of Piraeus. Harrowing journey across the sea, first disembarking on the Greek island of Lesvos. Not everyone who left their shores made it to Greece. From Lesvos, transportation to the mainland, to Piraeus - the port for tourist cruise ships in normal times. Thousands: mothers with babies, families with small children, young people who left families and friends behind.

Giorgos (George) was motivated to go to the port to see if he could help. He is a sculptor who also repairs air conditioners in the depressed Greek economy - and himself the father of two children, 8 and 10. The first thing he noticed was that people needed showers and a place to calm down. So, naturally (for George!) he immediately opened his apartment to 14 people for showers and quiet time. He recruited friends to offer showers in their homes, too. A shower-hero, we might call him.

But there is more!  As days turned into weeks, George took on a role of protection for at-risk refugees - women with babies and small children who needed priority care and attention. He looked for individuals who sat alone and stared down - avoiding eye contact. People who needed someone to be aware of them and give them a hand after the devastation they had gone through.

George became the go-to guy for tents, blankets, and sleeping bags during the Athens winter. (Think Baltimore: hot in summer, cold in winter, always humid.) You need it, George finds it.


George

George was one of hundreds of volunteers in the port city of Piraeus - unlikely heroes in a tragedy that is occurring far from their Greek shores. He continued as a volunteer for some time with a small Greek non-governmental organization, OrganizationEarth, OE for shorthand. He and OE would be embarrassed to be thought of as heroes. But they are heroes to me. And I'll bet, to you too.

It is the privilege of Questscope to know individuals like George and organizations like OE. They are people just like you and me, who see a need and cannot but help out their neighbors, even if they cannot speak the same language.  But the language of love, of showing mercy to those in need, needs no translation.

This is another thing that I just had to tell you. 

Curt Rhodes
Founder and International Director

 

You can read my last update from Europe here: http://bit.ly/28LcCns