The course of the past few days has been quite eventful! We traveled by ferry to Greece, which was completely awesome, and have made it safely! We slept on the upper deck of our ferry, exposed to the elements and slept under the stars whilst sailing through the various seas of the ancient lands. It twas marvelous. God answered our prayers and parted the clouds for us so that it would not rain. It was only a tad windy. But nobody minded that.
We arrived in Greece and traveled to our campground which is a little outside of Patras. It is beautiful and right by the sea. We met some wonderful people who work with the Powell’s at the refugee center in Athens. They greeted us and have been staying and working with us during our time in Patras. The past few days, we have been going out into the city to do our presentation, without Italian now, and group evangelism. It has been rather hot and difficult but the team is pushing through and making the most of their time here. I would say there has been a bit of culture shock for us in coming to Greece, as it is quite different from Italy, but everyone has adjusted just fine. Even to jumping ahead an hour as well.
There has been some frustration among the girls in not being able to go and talk with many of the refugees from the Middle East. It is completely for their safety, but I do empathize with them. However, we are making the most of it and enjoying time separate from the boys. The guys were able to go to the place where the refugee men sleep and stayed yesterday afternoon and had a remarkable time talking with them and joining in sports. It has really opened their eyes to how little these people have and how desperate they truly are. God is most certainly working.
Tomorrow, we embark on the final leg of our journey overseas and head to Athens. There, we will stay in the center where the Powell’s are working and minister to the refugees who come there. The girls will be able to interact just as much as the guys here as it is a different situation. Everyone is excited to finish strong and to see what else God has in store for us as we spend our last few days in Greece. We miss you all and love you even more!!
“The other night the guys went to an abandoned compound to witness and play soccer with Persian refugees. It was a very remarkable experience for me, not only because of the poor living conditions but also because of how bad they destroyed us Americans in soccer. It was great to talk with some Iranian and Afghan men and hear some of their life stories. It was also cool to see that they respected us for living out our faith with pride. I look forward to seeing some of these men in the future.” – Caleb Powell
“When I signed up to come to Italy this summer I had no idea how amazing, challenging and difficult it would be all at the same time.
“So we’ve been overseas for a month and nobody has been hit by a car or bus which is great! Overall Italy and Greece is amazing.” – Caroline Mikouchi
I loved getting to know Christians from different cultures and it was wonderful to see how we can all come together to worship God no matter what our language or background. Everywhere our team went we had opportunities to share the Gospel and God really put in my heart an awareness of the spiritual need throughout Italy. Before I left for the summer, I prayed that God would give me His heart and compassion for those who are lost, hurting, and dying without hope. God answered that prayer and as I began talking to people and seeing the enormous need to share the Gospel, I felt such an urgency to tell them about how God could change their lives. I have always been nervous about sharing my faith with total strangers and I wasn’t quite sure why God wanted me on an evangelism team. This summer God showed me that it is not about me, it is about Him. I can’t let my own fears keep me from doing what I know He ha called me to do. The grace and forgiveness God has poured out in my life is not just for me to keep to myself, He wants me to share it with all those around me as well. During my time in Italy God really challenged me to grow closer to Him and I pray that I will continue to be bold about sharing the Gospel as the summer draws to a close and I go home.” – Anna Beam