Today was the first day for each of us on this trip to serve any refugees hands on. For us girls, we had a nice relaxing morning to read, sleep in, and just breathe after our walking and site seeing from the previous day. Nick, however, got up early this morning to go to Helping Hands to help with the men’s showers day that they have every week. He had the amazing opportunity to reach out to refugee men and children by serving lunch and playing games like ping-pong, chess, and uno. Later in the day, we left to go the Glyfada Christian Center to help the team there to serve about 100 or so Iranian refugees dinner. Everything that need to be cooked had been finished, but we got to help the put together the pita wraps, wash some fruit, and prepare the tea table. Apparently Iranians love black tea with lots of sugar, so it was kind of like hot sweet tea. But it was pretty tasty!
Once we got dinner all put together, we sat and waited for the majority of people to arrive. People at this point had already started showing up, but the small space was filled with so many people that it would have been difficult to find a place to sit. Each of us were a little bit surprised, because of what we were told about most of the people that we will encounter, to find that many of them were wearing normal clothes like ours, and many of the men and women were interacting with each other and with us even though that is unusual. Also, we were pleasantly surprised that there was a evening worship service that we got to participate in before the dinner. Frank, one of the leaders at the center, gave a teaching on the story of the adulteress women from John 8, and there was a translator who communicated with the Iranians throughout the service. Even though I have read and heard many teachings on this passage, it was really cool to rethink through this passage from a new Christian’s view again as I have personally taken for granted the details I have glanced over and had not process through. After the message, there was a time saved for Q&A for the refugees to ask questions that they had on the passage or about anything as this was known as a seeker group, who are a group that have expressed interest in getting to know more about Christ. The response of this group was incredible! You could tell just by their questions that some were new Christians where as others were almost ready to accept Jesus into their hearts. Their questions were so good and some quite challenging, but you could see their passion and desire to know more and more about Jesus. Not only did Frank respond to their questions, but there was also two other guys from England, John and Matt who had helped us prepare dinner earlier, that responded to the majority of questions. The excitement that you could see in asking their questions can hardly be described as they just kept coming.
Unfortunately, Frank had to cut off the question time as it was starting to get late, and we still needed to serve dinner. However, he left the door open to them to ask questions after dinner. So, we got back to work and continued with serving until everyone had a plate in front of them. Eventually after everyone had finished eating, we had to leave for the night, but it was an experience that none of us will ever forget. It amazed each of us by their questions during that Q&A as you could see their desire to know more about Christ! I hope we get to see more things like this as we serve other refugees in the near future! Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for the refugees and for ministeries like the one we worked with tonight to be able to keep serving and blessing others around them. God Bless!
– Bekah Palmer