I did something I said that I would never do again. I flew on Ryanair. The reason I have said that is because they are a low cost airline, but they have lots of sneaky ways to get more money out of you, so that eventually you can wind up paying just as much as you would for a regular priced carrier. For example, once I didn’t print my boarding pass. They charged me €40. If you check a bag, which I did this time. It cost me €25, which was more than the price of my ticket. If you have carry-on luggage that it too big or too heavy, there’s a fee. If you want anything to eat or drink on board, you have to pay for it. Nothing is free. And if you want to choose your seat, there’s a fee. You can pay for priority boarding, too. And on the flight there are many announcements about things they want to sell you on the flight—far more than the usual information or safety announcements. Because of those endless announcements I had brought my noise-canceling headphones. I didn’t need to arrive feeling tired and annoyed.
My flight arrived about 8:30 PM, and it was then that I remembered another reason why I don’t like flying on Ryanair: they use the secondary airports. This one was an hour and a half outside of Stockholm. The bus was packed with passengers, so I had to sit with my backpack in my lap. I arrived at the bus station in downtown Stockholm about 11:30.
I noticed lots of homeless people, many of whom appeared to be recent refugees from the Middle East. It was not freezing cold, but it wasn’t warm enough to sleep outdoors, either.
My hostel was just a short walk away, and someone let me in. The reception was closed, but the resident that let me in told me to check my email on their free Wi-Fi to see how to retrieve my key. When I got the key and got into my room I found that I had an upper bunk, despite requesting a lower bunk when I made the booking months ago. One of my roommates kindly offered to switch bunks with me.
So after a rough arrival, I was met with kindness. I hope and pray that the many refugees soon find a kind welcome, too. Sweden has been one of those places that has been most welcoming to the flood of refugees. However, after a series of rape attacks by “refugees” (who know, but they could be ISIS infiltrators), Swedish opinion has swung to the opposite extreme, wanting to close their borders. That is understandable.
However, as Christians, we need to have God’s perspective about the flood of refugees: this is a big opportunity for the Kingdom of God. As we provide for their needs, while showing God’s love and kindness to these displaced people, they will be more open to hearing about Jesus. This is an opportunity that we simply cannot afford to miss. God is good! Now let’s get out there and show it.