BC Juniors Global

Join Barclay College students as they learn about Christian life, service, and leadership in the global classroom.


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The ministry of the Men

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

Brad

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The adventure continues for Greece Lightning…

The past couple days have been full of accomplishments and some downfalls. Yesterday we went to helping hands and had the benefit of deep cleaning the entire building. This was not the downfall. We enjoyed every minute of it, whether it was dusting fans, cleaning every child toy, or scrubbing an entire kitchen. The total process took only a few hours and we got to work with a great crew of people. This included interns from Germany and Finland and a couple from South Carolina. There was laughter and joy the whole day. After we got back to the apartment we were pooped, exhausted we lounged around making tacos and discussing our day. We ended our day playing games of Uno Dutch Blitz before turning in early for the night.

Today we had the ability to serve the family meal at Helping Hands. This included getting up on time and arriving early, for a first, and praying with three staff before the day began. We worked with a crew of 25 to prepare the delicious meal. Many of us, the Greece team, were slicing cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, while others made fries and sausage. As the time grew closer I found myself, Brad, working in the kitchen. I assisted Bonnie, the wife of the SC couple, in washing dishes before being pulled into dishing food. I gladly jumped on board and worked with five refugees as we fished meals for 160 people. It was amazing having the ability to work with them. There was joking and lots of gratitude. Most of them could speak English, allowing me to understand them. It would have been fine either way because it was blast. When I had the ability to eat lunch I sat and talked with one of the workers, Nick. We began discussing YWAM and the group of dead refugees at the table with us. As it turns out there is a group of refugees that are deaf. Luckily they found each other and have the ability to be a part of a community. Nick described how they normally have a volunteer come in and translate for them. However that person was not able to be there today, so they left after the meal. After the meal there is a message that is completely optional. A pastor from a local Farsi speaking church delivered the message. I did not have the opportunity to hear it. I was again in the kitchen, cleaning dishes. This was of course great because I love being in the kitchen. After the message we began to clean the tables and floor, where some funny incidents happened. I am sadly not at liberty to say.

After we cleaned, we had a debrief with the whole group of 25. During the debrief we discussed the happening of the day. The children learned a story about Jesus, some mothers had great conversations and others said by to a couple of friends. Before we began to pray, the pastor discussed his ministry and outreach. He had just visited a refugee camp where a mosque was built and had a strong concentration of Muslim activists. This caused the two families comprising of six Christians to live in fear. They could not deliver any Bibles or discuss anything Christian related with our possible consequences. There were two members who were baptized in the nearby forest. The pastor asked us to pray for these people, which I ask you to do as well. We prayed for many others and ended our time for today.

When we went back to the apartment we decided to make dinner. Tonight was my night to cook and everything was going well. There were three of us in the small, small kitchen and we were moving pretty well. As I began to finish the first batch of fried chicken, we turned on the oven and everything went black. The power cut out. We were clueless as to what caused it. After going out to eat and getting delicious crepes for dessert we discover a breaker was tripped. We thought it was just a rolling blackout but we were wrong. We had to settle for burgers and not homemade fried chicken. It was rather disappointing. I tried to order the crepes in Greek and just confused everyone so there was some fun in the end. As for now the day is drawing to a close and all I know is that I need to finish this blog. So farewell, till we speak again. Not that your actually having a conversation with me.

Brad

P.S. Greece lighting is the team name we came up with. One of us may have been too enthralled with Grease as a child.