We have made it to Athens and are now on the last leg of our incredible journey overseas this summer! It’s crazy to think how fast it has gone and we are all wondering where the time went. We have had quite a few exciting things happen within the past few days. We arrived in Athens on Friday, settled in to our new living quarters and met the people who work at the center for the refugees here in the city. Then, on Saturday we went to Ancient Corinth and toured the ruins there. There was so much history and we were able to see physical proof of a name that is mentioned in the Bible. You should ask your kids about it when they come home. See if they were really paying attention 🙂
It was a fantastic day out and everyone came back filled with even more wonder and awe for our mighty God. We continued to rest that night and had some team time before heading to bed.
On Sunday, we joined a Greek church for services in the morning. They were extremely kind and someone translated the entire service for us. We shared some songs with them and we were very well received. It was a delight to be there and to be able to bless the church after they blessed us so much. We came back after church and had a delicious lunch with many of the national Greek foods. Mrs. Powell is an amazing cook, to say the least. We continued with some classes and also memory work for rest of the day.
Today, Monday, we went out in the morning to the center of Athens where we did our presentation for quite a few people. Unfortunately, it was not as busy as we had hoped it would be and one-on-one evangelism opportunities were scarce. But the team made the most of their time and the presentation went well. After that, we hiked a little ways, but our destination was worth it. We hiked up to Mars Hill where Paul preached in Acts 17:22-34. He preached to the Greeks about their temple to the unknown god and about how there was one, true living God. It was a solemn and awe-filled experience to be able to stand where Paul evangelized to those who did not know the Lord, something we have been doing our entire summer. We enjoyed a time of prayer before heading back down to go back to the center and have lunch. We are planning on evangelizing morning rest of the day and as well as tomorrow. And then, we are headed back to the United States! Our time overseas is drawing to a close. This summer has been an adventure-filled one to say the least and the team is eager to see all of you, their families, once again. Yet, there is still work to be done and we ask for prayers that God would give us strength and energy to finish this race with endurance and to continually rely upon the Lord. We appreciate all that you do for us. Thank you so much. We shall see you soon!! Over and out from the Italy-Greece Backpacking Teen Missions International 2014 team!
“This has been an amazing summer. God has been working y life deeply and I see changes in my fellow teammates as well. As the summer is drawing to a close, I can barely think about leaving my team. We have become close that, for better or worse, we are family. It has been amazing to work with the kids here in Athens. Even though we don’t understand each others language, we are able to show love to these kids. I could almost stay here a whole year, just to be able to be a part of these kids lives.” – Annika Lee
“Psalm 122:1 says: ‘Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commandments.’ This summer, God has really taught me to transition all my fears of selfish and worldly origins to a fear of a perfect God. Psalm 122:7 says: ‘They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.’ There is no reason to fear or have anxiety over things, even death, because God is in control. No wrong choice or mistake you make is too big for God to correct. Yay!”- Danielle Starmer
“This trip through Italy and Greece has been amazing and I’ve grown immensely from it. The most impactful experience for me was in Patras, Greece. All of the guys went to a ‘refugee camp’ (it was more like an abandoned warehouse) with a few other guys from the ministry based in Athens. We played soccer with them, talked with them, (and the next day) go to serve them a meal. Hearing their stories and plans was extremely sad. There was one man I talked to a lot, named Akmad (I believe). He was from Afghanistan, and still had a few brothers and sisters living there. He had only been in Greece 25 days, but planned on going to Germany (he had a cousin there). Another man was there 7-8 years. Most of them run across the street to the docks everyday and try to ‘catch’ a boat to Italy (thought they hardly ever make it). A majority (to all) of them are Muslim, and drugs and alcohol abound in camps like this. All of our eyes were opened to the sad realities that these refugees live, and to the dire need for Christ that all those people have.” – Christian Bland