Hey Bethel family,
We’ve had an exhausting but fantastic 2 days. Day one was a bit of a “rough” start for some of us. Transportation strikes in Athens and Thessaloniki kept some of us from getting to the Katerini area (where the Operation Joshua HQ is) when we were originally planning on it. But all is well, everyone still arrived and in good spirits.
This first day was spent with our new “OJ” family over a meal, and then a time of worship and the word.
The next morning, we arrived at 9am for a Greek breakfast, and jumped right into a full day or orientation. We learned why the “O Church” (The Greek Orthodox Church) doesn’t agree with the folks of Hellenic Min. and why some of them choose to consider us heretics by simply passing out the Word of God in the modern Greek language. As Johnathan Makris put it, “… For a Greek to become an Evangelical Christian is to forfeit the things they’ve known their entire lives; their culture, their religion, their identity.” So this is why it is incredibly hard for Hellenic penetrate through and reach people, but there is nothing impossible for God.
We heard story after story of how people had been reached through this amazing effort over the years. The one story that even hit home for me was a story about a young woman who was about to commit suicide in her home. She had a gun to her head, but then heard a commotion outsider her door. She walked out to see what was going on and found one of the OJ bags hanging with a New Testament and Hellenic’s information. She opened and started reading in the bible. After some time, she picked up the phone, and called the phone number on the information card and asked how she can have this freedom that is only found through this man named Jesus.
The Lord is at work here in Greece. He’s been speaking to me and the team, and breaking our hearts for the people of Greece. I think I can speak for the rest of us when I say how incredibly important it is that we get these bibles in the hands of these people. So please family, be praying for the people of Greece. Pray for open minds, and open hearts to receive God’s word.
Pray against the hardened hearts of the Greek Orthodox priests as some of them have already warned their congregations of the “heretics” that will be coming to pass our “heretical” literature. Pray for us as we endure the Greek heat and spend time on the streets of these small villages. And lastly, pray for the Hellenic staff. There are about 430 people this year that are here in Greece to pass out new testaments, and there are only about 25 staff members that are organizing this incredibly massive effort. But Lord willing, we will pass out over 125,000 new testaments this week.
Thanks for your prayers, we need them as this next day will be our first day out distributing. I will check back in tomorrow night.