We arrived in Athens, Greece yesterday morning dead tired. None of us had truly gotten a good nights sleep since Tuesday and none of us slept all that well on the nine-plus hours of flying that we did on the way over here. And then there’s the jet-lag…. There was one point, for myself at least where I couldn’t tell you accurately if I was awake or dreaming. Now normally a person would waste no time in getting to the place their staying and getting in a well earned and much desired nap before trying to attempt anything. And it almost began like that. We did spend some time at the place we are staying. It is a wonderful little place owned by Kallie and Jim, and wonderful elderly couple whose heart for Christ is worn on their sleeves. We however did not stay long. Not even long enough for a short nap. Against everything screaming inside of us telling us to sleep, we went over to the ministry center to get a feel for the place and to begin to form relationships with the refugees who were there. At the time there was no place I’d rather be than in my bed, but in hindsight I could not be more pleased that we went.
It all started with a question. When we arrived at the ministry center, we were greeted warmly and show around the facility. Afterwards, in spite of our yawns and drooping eyes, we went to interact with the refugees who were there. Honestly, I didn’t even know where to begin, I was tired, I’ve never been one to start up conversations with people I don’t even know, and we don’t even speak the same language. What could I possibly do? There, sitting at one of the tables, was a man. Not knowing how to strike up a conversation with the guy, I invited him to play a game of chess with me, to which he declined but return the invitation with a question of his own: “Where are you from?” I answered and from there a conversation was born. Most of it was him talking(in a mix of broken English and his own language) and me listening to him talk about his home, his problems, his concerns, his jokes, and of other things which I couldn’t decipher. And all throughout our conversation all the weariness and exhaustion I felt melted away. I may not have been able to do much, but I could listen to this man. I could hear his story and by the grace of God I was able to listen and be blessed by conversation with him. I never caught his name, but I look forward to seeing and listening to him again.
It is a strange thing to think that God has called us here to serve Him. I can’t help but have a feeling that I am totally unprepared and unqualified to make any difference here for anyone. But I know that God’s ministry does not depend on me or my qualifications. God does not need the guy with the most experience or the best of the best. God looks for those who are obedient to His will, and makes them qualified. I only pray that I can be obedient to Him.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31