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Wow, what a week

Thursday June 2nd, 2016 – Day 21
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty. Who was, is, and is to come. Who is all powerful. Who is all knowing. Who is the One who sees all, who spoke everything into existence. I cannot imagine what I would do if I was not called by Him. He has demonstrated His power and glory in front of me today.
After the morning session, we broke into our normal small groups. It felt like the other small groups, which was a bit slow, about half were believers of Jesus Christ, and the normal demand for the Muslims to be made known. The Muslims would often challenge Jesus and His message against the Koran. Today’s question that was brought about was: “If Jesus was God and a prophet, why did He not prophecy about Mohammed? Why did Jesus not warn us that another would come and misinform many people?” These were good questions. The first thing that popped into my head was that He did, He just called them Gentiles and false prophets. Having established credibility over the last few days, Matt took them to a passage about false prophets that would come and distort truth and tell lies and that many would follow and listen to them. What this did was bring about an anger from a different Muslim who did not ask the question that was also in the group. There were a lot of words exchanged in Farsi between him and the translator for the group. I did not understand, nor did the translator translate before what happened next.
Devod, or Devot, pronounced Day-vode, began to convulse uncontrollably. Most of us realized that what he was hearing about Jesus had just shattered his paradigm of how he lives life. I think he was given a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. Well, he is possessed by a demon. At first, we were all gathering around him in Jesus’s name to cast out this demon. It was crazy. Then, other Muslims were coming in trying to snap him out of what he was experiencing. They were quickly escorted away from him to allow for what Jesus was doing to him. I am telling you I have never ever seen anything like this. This was a real demon that was now in my presence being casted out right in front of me. We all prayed, hard. All the believers were swarming around him and praying like never before. We all demanded that Jesus would remove this demon from his body and set him free. He was convulsing. He was squirming. He had the weirdest look in his eyes that I had ever seen. He kept holing onto his head, like there was something in there that was being demanded to vacate the premises. Other Muslims kept coming up to him, trying to get passed the Christians who were praying and laying hands on Devod. It did not stop for hours now. We kept praying and praying.
We did not stop praying for him. Some went to talk among other people, but some of us kept praying with him. We prayed in Jesus’s name! Over and over and over again. The war that was waging in this guy’s body was unbelievable. I cannot hardly believe that I was witness to it. This was directly related to Jesus Christ. Jesus revealed Himself and the evil spirit freaked out. The spirit did not know what to do. This is what happens when you hear the gospel. Matthew 24. Galatians 1. There is no other gospel. There is nothing else that is real. Anything apart from Christ’s message is false. Wow, what a warfare.
People are still praying and cheering for him. Devood has fallen asleep. Now he is awake. I have not gotten close enough to hear what he is going through and he only has his son and a friend who speaks his language present with him at this time. I am confident that the Lord has now been established within him and has now seen the light. There is no more walls to hide behind. From what I am hearing, he is in the direct line of Mohammed the prophet. Devod actually receives money for being a part of the family line. Very much like the Indians back home. They all have money that is given to them at the age of eighteen for being an Indian. Crazy. This is an interesting story developing. More to come. I need to head down to the water for kayaking duty.



Paul…is that you?

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.

Nick LeMonds

P.S. The pictures have still not loaded since the beginning of this blog. I will post them when I can.

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Can You Hear Me Now? …Now?

Greetings from Thessaloniki!


Today, Team Greece got to explore Philippi! What an awesome time this was. We had a spectacular tour guide, our very own Mr. Dirrim. Our day started in Athens, but we got on a plane and flew north so we could visit Philippi and Thessaloniki. We landed in Thessaloniki around 11:00 am and drove straight to Philippi. The scenery was very beautiful. North of Athens is very lush countryside. Everything was so green, I almost felt like I was back in Hawaii again, only in Greece. The lake we drove by was so blue and looking very good. I wanted to stop by and take a dip, but we had a schedule to keep if we were going to see everything we wanted.

The cities that were right before Philippi looked like some sort of vacation resorts. We entered into the towns well above them and we had a bird’s eye view of what looked like some gorgeous homes and even more stunning beaches. We got to see where the apostle Paul came to shore at Troaz on his way to Philippi. It looked majestic. Paul probably had a different view. Ha ha. Arriving in Phillipi, we stopped at a little church with a baptistery. It was beautifully made. I will put a picture up with this post. Someone disrupted the flow of this creek to make it flow where they wanted it to go. It was cool, they built a couple walls and steps down into the water in the shape of a cross. That is where they baptize people. I got baptized in a pastor’s pool in Vancouver Washington. So, a little different than a flowing creek, in the shape of a cross, in Ancient Philippi! From here, Mr. Dirrim taught a little bit on Acts 16. Mr. Dirrim did an excellent job at opening the text and showing us some stuff that is kind of hidden within it. Learning about Lydia, Paul, and the Philippians was seen in a new light. I love how God continues to open more and more to us through His word. I hope I never think I have got all I can get out of a passage of Scripture.

Then, we journeyed down the road a bit to the ruins of Phillipi that were still intact. One site of which was the theatre. It was my first time in a theatre like this and it was eye opening. The craftsmanship of this place was truly amazing. These theatres were constructed to capture the voices that came from the bottom of theatre and project them all the way to the top which was easily 100 + feet. Below this paragraph is a picture of Tiffany standing on a white square. This square is the best spot and it is the most efficient spot for this parabolic theatre to project noise. It reaches the top without even thinking twice. We had an experiment to see just how much different the noise was in other spots. The results were shocking. Starting from 20 feet in front of Tiffany and ending at Tiffany has many different sounds. There is nothing like making noise than where Tiffany stands than all of the theatre. In that spot, your ears ring such a different tune than the rest. I am having a very difficult time trying to explain it, but I hope you are gettin it. It may appear to be difficult to hear the performers from all the way up top, but that is just not the case. I could hear Tiffany with ease from where this picture was taken. Simply incredible.image

Next, we kept walking until we came upon an old part of the Via Egnatia. This is a road that was constructed by Rome to connect important cities. Ultimately, this road served Paul and early missionaries to spread the gospel! What was intended for profit and gain by Roman Empire, was used to further the Kindom of God. God knows what He is doing and how to use evil for good. It felt amazing to stand on the Via Egnatia literally where Paul walked! Again, Mr. Dirrim opened up some of Scripture to us, giving us a more full look at what it meant back in the first century. You must visit this yourself! We looked at the ruins of Philippi and were fascinated by how much still stands and the brilliance it took to construct the village. What a special day it was. The  picture below the top picture is Ancient Philippi. Incredible, right. Below is the Via Egnatia. image

This picture is piece of history. Paul could very well of stood where Mr. Dirrim is standing. What an amazing picture to think about in your mind.

Here is a picture of the remains of Ancient Philippi.image

After this, we headed back to Thessaloniki. We walked down to the water and it was crazy packed with people. It appeared mostly local people. Thessaloniki sure knows how to enjoy the night life. There was thousands of people. We did not explore Thessaloniki. That is on our agenda for tomorrow. More to come. Below is a picture of our team at the baptistery spot. Just in front of us is the actual baptizing spot.image

That is four cool cats!


Can you see the cross?

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned.


Nick LeMonds

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Where’s All The Refugees?

Today was our first official day of service to the refugees. We began the day with some incredible breakfast. There is a nice little bakery just a block away from where we are staying. I forget the owner’s names, but they are very nice people. They make some awesome breakfast sandwiches, among other things. I went with a ham and cheese croissant. Wow, mouthwatering. The ladies had some very good stuff too, freshly made of course. Then, we were off to serve the refugees about 20 minutes away. There was one little problem, there were no refugees when we got to our destination.

As a lot of us know, ministry can be very layered and there can be men and women behind the scenes that do a mountain of work, but can possibly never get to interact with those who they are serving. This was the kind of day it was for us. We arrived to a storage unit that is about 20 minutes away from where the ministry center is. In this storage unit was boxes and boxes of men, women, and children clothes, toys, diapers, blankets, and shoes. The storage unit was roughly 40ft long, 15ft wide, by about 10ft high. This storage unit was filled with boxes and bags. Our task was to move winter donations to the back and bring up the summer stuff to the front. I will be the first to admit that I was a little bit overwhelmed when we were told what we were going to do. I mean, there was so much stuff there to sort through. Did we let that intimidate us for long? Absolutely not!

Team Greece stepped up and dove right in! We began to become this well oiled machine that was working like some sort of dream team. I am confident the Lord was smiling down on us as we served, without saying one word to those we were serving. Long story short, and despite our team leader thinking it might take two days to do the task, we were nearly done by late lunch time. We laughed. We joked. We song worshiped. We got the job done, for now, because it is a never ending job that will always need attention. Sorting donations will always be important, and endless. It just keeps coming in, and coming in, and coming in, which is good. We can keep sorting it and sending it out to those who need it, free of charge! What a gift to be a part of someone being warm at night. What a gift to sort shoes that will later be worn by a kid who dreams to be a basketball player, soccer player, artist, scientist, psychologist, women’s track star, and that those shoes will take them to where they want to go. What a gift to sort through clothes that will help women feel confident about themselves, confident enough to get a job, raise their children, to be confident in their own skin. What a gift to be a part of someone’s salvation story through simply sorting clothes. They will see this self-less act, hopefully, and ideally, as a gift from a loving Heavenly Father who is seeking them and desperate to have a relationship with them. A Father who can provide so much more than what clothes can provide. That is Team Greece’s prayer.

After a long day of sweating and working hard, we are going to stay in and cook a little pasta. We have a big day tomorrow. We will be visiting some very cool archaeological sites and some biblical sites too. It is going to be awesome. Until then!

Nick LeMonds

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Thoughts at 36,000 Feet

May 12th, 2016, 9:34 PM, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. 🙂

Well, I have left Haviland Kansas in route to Athens Greece! It truly is amazing to think that a little over four years ago my life was in absolute shambles and I was in the darkest most oppressed place I have ever been in my life. I had no idea who God was. I had warrants out for my arrest. I was strung out on drugs. I had completely wrecked all my relationships with the most important people in my life. I was on a downward spiral toward death and destruction that seemed impossible to come out of. Then, I had an encounter with Jesus that has completely changed the trajectory of my life. Jesus saved me. He restored me. He called me. Only by His grace was I able to respond. He loved me. He began to speak into my life and speak to that void in my life that I had been trying to fill with substances at the age of twelve. He knew that He alone was the only one capable of filling that void I had within. Oh, Lord, how blessed am I to be called your son, and that is what I am.

Jesus set me on a new path. A path of righteousness. A path of selflessness. A path of service. A path of growth and progression. A path of obedience. A path of humility. A path that leads to Himself. A path of the unknown. A path that can’t be explained by anyone but Him. A path of pain and suffering. A path of unspeakable joy. A path of love and compassion. A path of the most incredible adventure and journey one could ever embark on. Which leads me to where I am at now. I cannot believe that I am on my way to Greece to serve Muslim refugees and extend this love that has been first extended to me. These last two years at Barclay College have been one heck of a ride that I would not change for the world. I am now traveling across the world to serve those who need serving. To be present as the Lord works out his supernatural will among His people in Athens, Greece. I am so fortunate to be able to participate in what God is doing on a global scale. Wow! Is there anything better in the whole world? I do not think so. I have no idea what the Lord is going to do over the next 26 days, but I know it will be life changing. I know it will be full of Him who has called me across the world to witness just how big and powerful He really is. If it is full of Him, the Creator of all things, King of kings, Lord of lords, then I will need to buckle up because my God never disappoints.

I want to say thank you for all my prayer and financial supporters. Without you, I would not be here. I had no idea how generous, loving, and gracious individuals could be when it comes to giving of their hard earned money, and their precious time to pray for me and this trip. The Lord sees you, hears you, and so do I. Thank you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. Until next time.

Nicholas E. LeMonds