Report from the Streets of Paris

Samir Salibi posted this on Facebook on 7 July. Samir is leading a team planting a new Church of God congregation in Paris, called @home, whose entire ministry is focused on refugee and immigrant ministry and evangelism. Samir writes:

“Yesterday, we had our first street cleaning event. There were 10 of us. We had just begun picking up trash when some immigrants came and asked for bags and gloves to collect trash with us. At the end of an hour, the entire area was clean. While collecting trash, contacts were made—with Iranians, Sudanese, Afghans, Eritreans… While distributing food, we met families looking for a place to stay. Essentially, last night, there were thousands out looking for a place to stay because they knew that the police were going to clear out the streets, so they were there for the night, hoping the next morning to find a place that had been cleared out by the police. The needs are great, Brothers and Sisters! One Ivorian family that I met has been living on the streets for two weeks. They’ve tried to get into the camps, but they’ve been turned away because they’re not on the official list of nationalities accepted. However, they fled the rebels in Côte d’Ivoire! It’s hard to see young children in the street without a place to stay, without toys, next to a bank all day long, with not even the basic means to wash up. We are going to try to find a solution for them. They were with me this morning, having been put up for one night by a group, but tonight they will be back on the streets. Brothers and Sisters, now is the time for Christians to mobilize and take action on the ground. May the Lord direct for his glory!” —Samir Salibi

To learn more about the ministry of Samir and the @home project, or to give toward to the project, visit http://chogglobal.org/athome

Translated from French and reposted with permission.

Original French post:

“Hier, nous avons fait notre première action de nettoyage. Nous étions 10, à peine commencer à ramasser, les migrants sont venus demander des sacs et gants pour ramasser avec nous. Au bout de 1h toute la place était propre! Durant le ramassage, des contacts se sont mis en place : iranien, soudanais, afgans, érythréen, … Pendant la distribution de la nourriture, nous avons rencontré les familles en recherche de logement. En effet hier soir il y avait des milliers car ils savaient que la police allait venir évacuer donc ils étaient là pour passer la nuit et espéraient le lendemain pour qu’ils retrouvent un logement grâce à l’évacuation! Les besoins son énormes frères et soeurs. Une famille ivoirienne que j’ai croisé est dans la rue depuis deux semaines. Ils ont essayé d’entrer dans le camps mais refusé car ils ne sont pas dans la liste des nationalités acceptées. Pourtant ils ont fuit les rebelles de la côte d’ivoir! C’est dur de voir des petits enfants dans la rue sans logement, sans jouet, à côté d’un banc toute la journée! même pas de quoi se laver! Nous allons tenter de trouver une solution pour eux. Je les ai eu ce matin, le samu les a logé pour une nuit et ce soir ils seront de nouveau dans la rue! Frères et soeurs c’est l’heure des chrétiens pour nous mobiliser et passer à l’action sur le terrain! Que le Seigneur guide Pour Sa Gloire”

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