ATHENS DAY ONE:
Full day today. The weather is gorgeous. High seventies and not a cloud in the sky. We are staying at the Hotel Oscar this time around. It was recommended by the team here in Athens. Very affordable, with small but adequate rooms, good wireless, and very good breakfast. After Sarah shared a devotional thought, we walked just up the street to the metro station, purchased our passes, and headed to Mars Hill. Several of our team members led us in worship, and DB, the director of the Oasis, brought a solid message out of Acts 17. His point was that the Greeks of that time worshipped an unknown God. If we know the known God, then what are we doing to make Him known? What will we do this week to make Him known? Wow.
We walked the group through the city, helping them to acclimate to their surroundings. After lunch in the Plaka, we had a late afternoon orientation session at the center that really set the tone of our week. We discussed why we’re here, and what exactly we will encounter, what to say to Muslims as well as what not to say. We talked about the plight of the refugees and how they have been ripped from their families and treated like “stray dogs”, some of them for over 10 years. A sobering reminder of what lies ahead for our group.
DB and I devised a solid strategy for the week. Starting on Tuesday, we will essentially have three teams. One team will be working at the Oasis. Mel will lead a second team to work at the Helping Hands refugee center as well as lead in some prayer walking throughout the city. Jim will lead a third team of men in some construction work on a new project that DB calls the “Mancave”. It will basically be a recreational area to intentionally disciple men. I am so excited about all the opportunities that await our team. God must be up to something really big, because the enemy has been attacking in a variety of ways. Please pray for us to bind him away and for God to be glorified.
Free day of sightseeing tomorrow. Jim and I will head to the Mancave in the afternoon to start taking some measurements and do some other preliminary stuff. Fun week ahead.
ATHENS DAY TWO
The night before our work really begins and Satan is attacking in full force. Neil, one of our team members, was pick pocketed on the metro this afternoon. They walked away with everything. Passport, credit card, cash, everything. I am taking care of him and have had him fill out the necessary paperwork for obtaining a new passport and have secured him an appointment at the embassy. I will go with him. We are working everything out but needless to say, Neil is discouraged and frustrated. Please pray for our work to go well and for relationships to be established and for God to be glorified.
Aside from that, a great day. The team went sightseeing on their own today, I took a group through the Acropolis and through the Agora and Plaka. Dinner in Monastraki tonight. The work begins tomorrow. Long day planned. Pray for Christ to be proclaimed in word and deed.
ATHENS DAY THREE
Busy but good day. We split into three teams. Sarah led the team at the Oasis as they provided meals, had conversations with Farsi speaking peoples, and taught children’s classes. They were able to engage many of the females in Gospel centered conversations and served an encouragement to the team members there.
Mel led three of our team members to do similar work at the Helping Hands refugee center and even led the group in ministering to addicts they came in contact with. This had a profound impact on the group.
Jim and I went with two others and worked all day at the Mancave. We spent the day cutting studs and Sheetrock, drilling holes and putting up walls. I was so encouraged that we were able to bless DB in this way. The Mancave has been his vision from The Lord for four years and he has has no one to be able to help him until now.
The Lord is blessing our work in a mighty way. Our team is exhausted, which is how it should be. First thing tomorrow morning, I will take Neil to the embassy while the ladies have a women’s ministry day at the Oasis and the men do more construction in the Mancave. Thanks for your continued prayers.
ATHENS DAY FOUR
God was moving all over the place today! I started by taking Neil to the American Embassy to start the passport process. I really had my doubts as to whether we would get his passport by the time we head home on Saturday, but God showed me. We walked out of there with a new passport today! God is faithful!
Afterwards, we returned to the Mancave with the men on our team and continued putting in walls and cutting Sheetrock. We got a lot done. We completely framed in DB’s office as well as a large multi-purpose room. Tomorrow, we continue putting in doors. Fun stuff.
The ladies had a blessed day at the Oasis working with women. They gave them manicures, prepared and served them lunch, had tea with them, and most importantly, had gospel centered conversations and prayed with each one of them. They shared testimonies of God’s faithfulness in their lives. The ladies came back to the hotel overwhelmed at what God was doing.
A great day. Tomorrow, the team splits again. Most will go to the Oasis to clean up there, and a few of us will go to finish the work in the Mancave. Thanks for your continued prayers and support.