Oh where do we begin with sharing this adventure?
It all started in Grand Rapids where family and Calvary staff sent us off by praying for our trip. I was reminded of what Priscilla Shirer teaches, that prayer activates the armor of God. We were sent off armor activated, knowing it needed to be fast and secure. Thank you Jesus!
Our amazing van driver drove us to Chicago and dropped us off at the airport, we made it through security quickly and found our gate. We all had quite the different experience on our flight from Chicago to Athens. I’m not sure to encourage or discourage you from talking to everyone about our experiences. I’ll leave it up to you :)
Saturday evening we landed in Athens and made it to our apartment. We got some dinner, acomponied by a bird who shook every once and awhile sharing some of his feathers with us.
We got up the next morning, wow that would be today, at 3:30am to catch an early flight to the beautiful island of Lesbos. Upon arrival our kind host picked us up from the airport and took us to our home for the week. We all got squeaky clean and ready for church. Tim and Sandy, missionaries who work with EuroRelif picked us up for church. Tim, the EuroRelief Chaplin, spoke at the evangelical church on the island today. It was a gift to hear him speak. Tim covered Judges 6-8, focusing mostly on chapter 7. He spoke about Gideon and talked about how he asked the Lord for a sign that He would really save Israel by his hand (6:36). This message was especially neat to us Calvary folk because Jim had just preached on asking the Lord for a sign. This wasn’t a coincidence, later on the way to lunch Tim said that he had planned to talk about the Bread of Life, but he woke up this morning around 1:30am and he knew he needed to change it, and so he did to Judges 6-8. Tim also talked about how Gideon was fearful. However, God used him to defeat the Mideonites even though when comparing armies, the Mideonites outnumbered the Israelites 450 to 1 (once God had the Israelite army shrunken down). However, something that really stood out was that the Israelite army had three things: a trumpet, an earthen vessel, and a torch. The Israelites covered the flame of the torch with their earthen vessels, but when they broke the vessel the light shown through and the Midionites ran crying. There was no other explanation for the victory other than that God worked, His glory shown. He followed saying that as believers we have Christ in us and we, vessels made from dust of the ground, need to be broken enough so only God can shine through. Just as the Gideon and the Israelites did, we too can watch God give us victory. This was a great message to hear. As we get up and go to the center, Gateways2Life tomorrow, it can be scary. But the Lord, who uses little insignificant people, will use us too, and we get to watch God work, all praise going to Him because without Him we couldn’t do this on our own. We couldn’t do this without your prayers. We need the Lord to show up, and He will.
Church was also a highlight for us today because we were able to worship with people “different” from us. In the congregation there were Greeks, Syrians, a Zimbabwean, a Canadian, a British man, a Scottish woman, and Americans. The screen showed both Greek and English as we sang songs together. We also had communal prayer and communion which was something so special.
Following church we got some lunch, took a quick nap, and grouped back up. We did a devotional a then decided to do some prep work for the crafts we will bring to the women’s and children’s center. We made bead packets and put bottle caps in bags for a tic tac toe craft. It was nice to prepare for the week. It was also quite fun: one, because we have a lot of funny people on our team, and two, because we were all so tired so laughs came so easy. :)
We just got a late bite for dinner and are headed to bed, excited to wake up tomorrow and meet the woman and children at the center. Please continue to pray for us. Pray that we would each make a connection with at least one woman or child and that God would all teach us something new. Praise Him for safe travels, laughs, and the glimpse of heaven we experienced today at church.
All to Him and for Him!