Today was the first day for us to be with the staff at the ministry center- Helping Hands. It felt very normal to be back and it was such a blessing to see many people from last year. I was reminded of and experienced the depth of this group of people and their strong desire to serve the Lord.
Once a month, the entire staff gathers to pray- for one another, the ministry, personal concerns, etc. Today happened to be that day and it was a refreshing time and a wonderful way to begin our ministry in Athens. We had three parts to this prayer time. The first was taking 30 minutes of personal time with the Lord. For me, this was a much needed time. This morning I woke up with several things on my mind and one of the first verse we were given was from Isaiah 45 saying that God will go before us and will level mountains. I was grateful for the reminder that through good and bad, God is there.
For the second part of prayer, we broke up into groups and prayed for one another. Instead of starting off by sharing prayer requests, we took a couple moments to ask God what to pray for from each person. It was very Spirit-led and amazing to see how God spoke through one person for another.
Lastly, we prayed as a large group. I loved this time because you could hear the hearts of the staff as they cried out for the refugees. The staff know the names, families, stories, etc. of the refugees. They are committed to this ministry even though they know that most refugees will not stay indefinitely. Hearing the prayers also showed us how much God is working. He is using the terrible situations that people face and he is reaching people through that. God is a powerful, loving and mighty God! Having focused times of prayer not only glorifies the Lord, but I believe this is what holds the staff and ministry together. This work is not possible without the strength and joy of the Lord.
After doing a few small tasks at the ministry center, we went to a place called Monastraki. Here we shopped, ate fantastic Souvlaki and gelato, and enjoyed the sites of Greece. It feels like we have been here for a long time, but this is only our 3rd day. We have barely seen places and we haven’t even had our first day with the refugees yet…I am so excited to see what is to come! .
Thank you for your prayers and support!