Greetings from Kinetta Beach-
Team Greece is having a fantastic time here on retreat with Helping Hands. It has been full of good conversation, worship, food, kids, beach, reflection, and lots of swimming. It is hard to believe how great this place is. I am certain I can speak for everyone when I say that the Lord is restoring, rejuvenating, and replenishing not only myself and Team Greece, but also Helping Hands and the wonderful ministry they are all doing. You can see God brightening up smiles. You can see God speaking life into Helping Hands’s team. I can see the rest in the Lord taking place right before my eyes. I have only witnessed Helping Hands love on the refugees for the last couple weeks, but it is easy to see how busy they all are and how restful this retreat has been for them all so far. Team Greece was tasked to babysit or watch the missionaries kids while they worshiped the Lord, listened to a fantastic couple speak, and even go on a date. I am not sure you can call it babysitting when the kids are all great. Also, when you are poolside, enjoying the sun and swimming, you can hardly call that babysitting or difficult. Team Greece is very blessed.
Today, Team Greece got to experience Corinth! We had a wonderful day. Our leader was very knowledgeable, super humble, and able to connect dots that I had not ever seen before. We started at the Acrocorinth. It was the fort that was atop Ancient Corinth. A place where you fled to if you knew Roman soldiers were coming to ransack the town. It was also a shelter for any attack that would have come.
There were three gates. Three gates to ensure that the intruder would not get through. If they got through the first gate, and the second, ideally, and hopefully, the intruder would not be able to get through the third gate. While standing there, it was easy to see how difficult it would be to get past the gates if they were guarded. There were steep terrain and mountainside on each side, making it impossible to penetrate. Unfortunately, we showed up a little bit late, so we were not able to walk all the way to the top. But, I did run ahead and get some good pictures from on high. Unfortunately, the internet here at Kinetta Beach will not allow me to upoload them. I will have to post pictures when I can connect.
I will tell you that the pictures are very good. It was so good to be in a place where Paul was at and spent a significant amount of time in. I believe he was there for a year and a half. He also writes to Corinth, taking up a significant amount of pages in the New Testament. There was something special about this place that Paul knew about, and needed to be there for a length of time to communicate God’s Word. Our leader, says to think of Corinth in this way. “Corinth had the financial backing of modern New York City, and the Political power of Washington D.C.” This was a unique place. Location, politics, issues with God’s people were all topics in Corinth. As said by our leader, “Paul strategically placed himself there for the spreading of the gospel.” He knew how Corinth operated. He knew the location well. He knew the importance of his task given from the Lord in this place. What a special day it was for Team Greece. And there is more.
We then moved down to Ancient Corinth and our leader, Kenn, began to teach us things that were so good to see in real life, and not in a book. We were there! We were at the synagogue where Paul walked. We were at the port where Paul would have gotten off his boat and traveled inland. We were there where he was accused of “persuading people to worship God contrary to the law” (Acts 18:13). We were there in the same place that he walked. We were there in the same place that Paul talked, taught, and worshiped. I am struggling to find the words to express what was happening within my heart and soul today. It was so jam packed full of information that I went on a little system overload, but needless to say, it was transforming. There were so many details that I had missed before. There were so many little things that put into perspective what was happening and the significance it has in what it was like being Paul. That is what our leader, Kenn, wants to challenge each of Team Greece: do we know Paul? Do we know the fullness of what his life was like? Do we know how Paul thought? Do we know Paul’s upbringing to understand the worldview that he speaks through? Are we searching enough for the truth? Kenn was outstanding at revealing some hidden mysteries that have eluded me before. I will be forever grateful, as I believe, Team Greece will be too.
Tomorrow, I will break off from Team Greece and head to a Men’s refugee camp where I will be for the next five days. I will eat, sleep, talk with, have fun with, compete with, pray with, and worship with refugees every hour of the next five days. I pray the Lord will use me to give hope. I pray the refugees will speak hope into my life. I pray the Lord would move in such a way that opens up new things, shows me new suffering, shows me new struggles, shows me new passion, shows me new mercy, shows me new grace, shows Himself new to these refugees. I know a lot of them are still Muslim, but this is also a seeker group that will be there. About 40-50 seeking refugees. Seeking for something that Allah is not giving them. Seeking for something that can’t be given through ritualistic practices. I pray the Lord would show the refugees what they need to see and hear and that they would then respond. We shall see. It is going to be awesome, that is for sure! I cannot wait! I do not think there will be internet there, so it may be a while before I can give you an update, but I will as soon as I am able.
Oh, it is our leader, Tiffany Van Dame’s birthday today! If you know her, send her some love!
Unitl next time.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
P.S. The pictures have still not loaded since the beginning of this blog. I will post them when I can.