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The Balkan route

November 2015 | by David Butler

A large number of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have been travelling along the ‘Balkan route’ in order to reach western and northern Europe.

Already, more than 100,000 such people have passed through Serbia and, at the time of writing, around 3000 people are crossing into Serbia daily.

In south Serbia, the Crisis Centre and the Human Rights Office have been collecting humanitarian aid, primarily for women and children who are being looked after in shelters in Preševo, from individuals, companies and charities. They are requesting donations of bottled water, canned food, personal hygiene and baby care products, shoes and medicine for children and babies.

Niš Baptist Church, in south Serbia, and its pastor, Emanuel Ralević, is seeking to help the migrants and refugees no matter what religion, race or age they are.

The church leaders prayed together about the situation, and they now want to help, in obedience to Jesus’ command in Mark 6:37, ‘You give them something to eat’.

They want to meet their physical but also spiritual needs. So, in order to gain their hearing, they feed them first, just as Jesus fed the multitudes, before telling them of Jesus’ love for people like them.

The church established a humanitarian organisation ‘Love Your Neighbour’ over 20 years ago and they plan to contact the Crisis Centre in south Serbia to find out how best they can help, by not only sending aid but going themselves to assist.

Volunteers from the church and the associated Balkan Theological Seminary are willing to get involved. The goal is to purchase various items — or receive donations — and transport them to south Serbia.

European Missionary Fellowship (


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