i58 Greece

Testimonials

from Former Volunteers

One time I was working with another volunteer to a family’s paperwork fast tracked. We had to wait 15 minutes for them to finish the paperwork so we stepped outside the office to wait. As I was sitting there waiting I noticed a little girl that I had run into a few times before guarding gates, running over to me (trying to get through the policemen) I went over to her and she gave the biggest hug I’ve ever gotten. She is one of the biggest reasons that I still miss Greece so much. She was this little diva that was use to having the world, but somehow she had to leave everything and go to Greece. Nine months later and I still think of her often.

K. Kuepfer

Former camp Volunteer

I spent three months in Greece and worked mostly with the women in Section C. My job description was primarily just to be a presence for the women. Someone outside of their crisis that could be available for them to go to whenever they wanted to talk. This meant I did a lot of sitting, talking, eating, socializing, and encouraging them. 

W. Smith

Former camp Volunteer

My wife and I and our 6 month old daughter spent three months volunteering at the Oasis. We enjoyed serving the refugees tea and providing a clean place for them to relax and enjoy good conversations. At the time it was hard for us to communicate with many of them because we did not have a translator and I didn’t know their language and they didn’t know ours:| But we smiled a lot and played games with the many kids that came. 

J. Esh

Former Oasis Volunteer

I need to focus way more on treasures in heaven and less on all my material trash, many people in camp had more than I do, and they lost it all, some of them almost overnight. It’s hard to imagine that, but there’s no real reason that couldn’t happen to me. It’s all so temporal. 

Anonymous

Former Camp Volunteer

One of my favorite moments was the night I was guarding new arrivals by myself and a group of POC’s from Iran were sitting around outside my window. They asked me to join them and they asked about my religion and what I was doing in camp. They told me some of their stories and we took pictures together. They asked friends to bring in drinks and fries and we shared it. It was a beautiful evening, and time went so fast. Another favorite thing is the way you almost always have someone buy or give you a cappuccino sometime throughout   the day. But the BEST thing ever is working with volunteers from all over the world that you get to know like family. We come from different denominations and cultures, but we come with the same purpose in mind.  That alone is a beautiful thing. 

M. Kauffman

Former Camp Volunteer

Camp changed my life. I have never felt the desire so strongly to want to help someone, yet feel so powerless to give them what they want or even need. I have never felt so unappreciated for going out of my way to try to make someone’s life a little more bearable. I have never seen so much desperation for a tarp. These were the rough days in Camp. But I also never experienced the generosity of people who have so little. The overjoyed mother receiving diapers. The look of thanksgiving from a man  receiving his pallet. The laughter of kids racing down the hill riding trash can lids. The excitement you share with someone when you are FINALLY able to give them the blanket they have been so desperately asking for. I have never experienced so much joy in a place so unexpected. 

T. Fox

Former camp Volunteer

I loved my 2 months in Greece. Working in camp wasn’t all as glamorous and exciting as anticipated, but in a way it was better. I didn’t realize how a place so broken, and dirty could hold joy, laughter, and beauty. How it can be terrible and yet somehow wonderful all at once. Some of my time in camp was spent taking people’s pictures and making ID cards for them to use in camp. My favorite thing was being able to give them something with their face and name and not only a number. Other days I guarded gates, showed families to their tiny “homes” while in camp, worked on census in camp or picked up trash. The best thing about those days was making new friends or stopping to visit someone. Although most jobs weren’t great fun or easy, at the end of the day what really mattered is that every job was done with kindness 

L. Troyer

Former Camp Volunteer

“Tonight is my last shift in camp…Tomorrow is my last full day here. It feels strange and sad to be winding up my time here…and a hundred other feelings that I can’t really put into words…
It’s time for me to go, but I don’t want to….I’ve met so many people and made some close friends. My time here has been a growing, learning, stretching, wonderful time for me. Tough and Fulfilling. Rewarding. Exasperating. Exhilarating. Maturing. Emotionally exhausting and yet so charged with emotions. Draining, yet invigorating. Mundane and Thrilling. Sometimes Pointless work with Eternal value. It’s why I’m here.

H Auker

Former Camp Volunteer

For myself building relationships with the women who came through our doors at Oasis was a highlight. It’s amazing what you can communicate even when you cannot speak more than a few words in each other’s language. The young mother who brought her 3 day old infant in, proudly unwrapping her precious bundle to show me a beautiful baby girl. My Syrian friend who always came towards the end of the day with her 3 energetic boys and shared through broken English part of her heartbreaking story. The 2 young boys who came in almost every day. From 2 different countries speaking 2 different languages yet both filled with that same mischievous sweet spirit. Being warmly welcomed into a friend’s tent for some chai and seeing how they had made an inviting, cozy home even in the midst of un-ideal circumstances. Time and again with every refugee I met, I thought “this could’ve been me.” And I couldn’t stop thinking that everyone of these people had normal everyday lives like you and I. But they’ve all lived through horrors that we can not imagine and escaped in hope of a better life. The Oasis is a place to bring refreshment to these weary, parched people. There are times that you will feel like you can’t handle another “My friend, My friend can I have…” and yet they’ll put you to shame with their giving hearts…And there will always, always be those who bring a smile to your face and brighten your day every time they walk through those doors.

B. Alspaugh

Former Oasis Volunteer

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