Today the girls had the day off so they went shopping. The men however, had a great day of ministry. Beginning at 10am, we went to Helping Hands and began preparing lunch, while refugees showered and got haircuts. Today lunch was an Iranian salad comprised of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Which is seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed in olive oil and vinegar. This was accompanied by two boiled eggs, fries, cheese, and pita bread. While we were prepping the meal I had the privilege to converse with our head cook. I already knew he was from Iran, but I wanted to know more. We discussed how and why he came to Greece. He told me about his profession as a head chef over many people and how he had moved to the capital of Iran before coming to Greece. He has a great passion for cooking and is a joy to be around. While we discussed his life in Iran, he mentioned he was divorced and was forced to leave his home because of his belief. Then he mentioned how he was in a bad place for a time, but was given much joy as he found love from other Christians. During the conversation he reiterated the joy he now has with Jesus. “It’s okay now, I have found Jesus,” he kept saying. It is truly great that he has been able to continue forward and focuses on the joy he has been given through Christ.
As we continued in fellowship, I tried to play ping pong, but I am not very good. The guy I was playing against, after defeating me, allowed me to simply play more to get better. He believes that if anything is found to be difficult, one should continue trying until they have gotten better. This struck a chord in me. I got this feeling that no matter what difficulty comes my way I should continue at it until I master it. This does not mean I become the best, but that the fast does not become difficult anymore. I plan to use this philosophy through life and never give up, but find any way possible to work forward. After lunch, there was a lesson discussing decisions and the importance of them. It was long and after an hour or so, we took a break. During the break I began a conversation with Brad, another volunteer, and an Iranian volunteer. We began discussing more about our lives and the cultures we come from. This all began with a pot of coffee. We discussed how Greeks enjoy their coffee, while Iranians enjoy their tea. This sparked the conversation on culture. The Iranian volunteer discussed how his culture flipped over the past ten years. It was very family focused and family members would talk to one another but now that the economy declined it all stopped. He mentioned a scenario if I came over, I would be expected to stay a while and would expect to be fed. Now, people no longer feel comfortable going to each other’s houses, they do not want to be a bother on anyone else. It seems that the economy of a place gradually affects the interpersonal relationships. This conversation continued till the end of the lesson. We then cleaned the facility with help from the refugees and prayed for each other. This group of men deeply care for one another and they want to know if there is anyway to help them. God is at work in their lives and is blessing them daily. That’s all for today. Thank you everyone who has been praying for us. God is truly at work. Please pray for these refugees, for peace, safety and food. Thank you