L ight reflects off metal serving dishes as silverware clinks on white plates: it’s not the typical refugee meal. But those serving at Bethelkerk, the last evangelical Flemish-speaking church in Brussels, participants don’t mind spending an hour cleaning the dishes if it brings a dignified experience to refugees who have little such experiences since they left their homelands.
Tables are set with spoons, forks and knives, while members of Bethelkerk and volunteers from churches around Brussels serve soup and salad, bread and cheese, and finally coffee and cream puffs for dessert. Friday nights at Bethlekerk are all the same: refugees filter into the chapel converted into a dining room, the men enjoy a simple but delicious dinner and listen as Gottleib shares the gospel.
“All in all, this Friday evening was a beautiful picture of loving the lowly and despised and bringing light into their lives.”
The men listen, for the most part, and then after go into a room to claim second-hand clothes. The whole event lasts for perhaps an hour, but cleaning takes a significant time as volunteers turn the dining room back into a chapel.
All in all, this Friday evening was a beautiful picture of loving the lowly and despised and bringing light into their lives. Though all of the refugees are men, there’s plenty to do in service for Ruthie and Jes, while Trevin builds relationships with English-speaking refugees and volunteers. Over all, the team looks forward to serving each coming Friday night.
During CCMI, participants attend local churches and serve in various ministry opportunities. Jes Greene (Greece) and Trevin & Ruthie Hoot (Bulgaria) ministered with Bethelkerk to immigrants in Belgium.