Today was a very full day!
Our Juniors Global Greece Team is the “program” for the annual Spring Retreat for the International Teams missionaries who work with the Helping Hands ministry in Athens. We are “roughing it” at a very nice resort hotel about 26 miles east of Athens on the other coastline of the peninsula. It is a beautiful location for their retreat right on the beach, with sumptuous buffet meals (some of us tried Ratatouille last night, and many other foods are available each meal that I have no idea how to describe) and lunch by the pool. About the only thing that has been frustrating is the lack of consistent internet access! As I write this, I am sitting in the main lobby (only place I have access – intermittent at best), about 10 yards from the dance floor of the bar with 10 French couples dancing to music that is way too loud to concentrate well (they are not from our group). 🙂
OK… so I wrote the above paragraph last night… ironically before I could no longer use the internet to finish this blog post! Here is what I would have gone on to say last night, plus a little from today (so far)…
Tyler, Abbey, and Sam have led worship for each of the general sessions for the retreat and have done a tremendous job. I have received many positive comments about their leadership, the quality of their music, and their servants’ hearts that are evident to everyone. The last two mornings, after they have finished leading worship, the girls have provided child care for the missionary children and Tyler has patiently sat through hearing me speak four times so far!
I have talked about “Building Bridges” – and have received many positive comments about that, as well. The kinds of comments I’m receiving about our entire team is that we are an answer to their prayers and exactly what they believe they have needed. We are thankful! Please continue to pray that The Lord will use our team to be an encouragement and help to these missionaries who are doing such a wonderful job ministering to Islamic refugees.
Yesterday, after the ministry time – we got to go on an adventure with our primary missionary host, Kenn Dirrim. He took us to the site of the famous battle at Marathon, where we dipped our feet in the ocean (that leads to the Aegean Sea). The water here is clear and not many waves (pretty protected by a long island and many inlets). This is also the place where the lone runner made his famous run to Athens to tell them that they won the battle with the invading army – and supposedly died after giving the message.
Everyone is in good health and good spirits. It still feels amazing that we are here – thinking we would be in Ukraine, and now surrounded by incredible ancient historic sites, learning more about an incredible ministry to Islamic refugees, surrounded by a variety of cultures and languages (did I mention that we ate Quail and Rabbit tonight?) – but very clearly The Lord has been in this and has directed us here.
We are rejoicing in what God is doing!
Thank you for continuing to pray for us! We will be here at this location until Sunday (when we head back to Athens to work side-by-side with the missionaries in the Helping Hands ministry)!