Dear home, we made it here! Welcome to Greece 2017. ✈️🤗🌍
We made it here after a lengthy day of travel with ease! This begins our mission trip to Greece for Operation Joshua 2017. We had a group of twelve traveling – Jordan, Ashley, Mary Tate, Cate, Cayce, Ethan, Joe, Connor, Tatum, Mike, Jason and myself…and we met with Anton when we arrived in the airport at Athens. Our journey started at 4:30 pm on Thursday afternoon when we met at Covenant to caravan to Washington DC where we spent the night – or I should say where we spent 4 hours. We got to sleep at 12 and work up to leave on the 4am shuttle to Reagan International airport. We flew to Philadelphia where we had an 8 hour layover before flying direct to Athens at 4:30pm. The flight was about 9 hours and by the time we got our luggage, took the bus to the rental car agency, drove to the hotel, got checked in and put our bags down, it was around noon today….so what day is it today anyway? I am weary and confused and so so tired. To top things off for Anton, he was pickpocketed already, losing wallet, money and credit cards before we even met up with him. This frustrates and upsets! Our immediate inclination is to become angry, annoyed, FEARFUL….In fact, this was my first emotion when Anton shared this with me; fear was knocking at my door. But our devotion today was on time, as always…. Phillipians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” The people here are oppressed, unemployed, and walking in spiritual darkness. It is the nature of the beast to want to destroy. So rather than become fearful or angry, we should count it all as joy – certainly we are where God wants us to be if the enemy is already trying to break us down.
I shoved fear out the back door but fatigue has set up camp, therefore this will be brief – just to let you know what exactly we will be doing this week: Operation Joshua. Probably the best way to understand our trip is described here (taken from http://www.operationjoshua.org)….
Greece is a nation where the Gospel has been largely forgotten. Spiritual darkness and unbelief are prevalent, and the nation’s devastating financial crisis continues to bring a spirit of despair on many Greeks. Unlike any other European country, the awareness and availability of Scripture in a language they understand is scarce—the vast majority of the Greek population does not have access to the Bible in Modern Greek. Not even 1% claim to be born again. This country has a desperate need for the life-giving water of the Gospel.
Operation Joshua is our endeavor to meet this urgent need by sowing the Word of God across Greece. Hellenic Ministries’ vision is to make known the glory of God by preparing the harvest in Greece of a people unashamedly committed to following Christ. But how can the fruit of the Gospel be harvested if the seeds of the truth are not first planted in the hearts of the Greek people?
Operation Joshua is quite simply a well organized highly planned and structured Bible distribution project bringing the gospel to the people here, in their own language, in a word they can understand, written for them so that they will have their own opportunity to experience the saving personal relationship with Christ, knowing personally the God of the universe. This may sound too basic to even be necessary, but imagine an entire population of people living in a culture that has never even seen or held a Bible that they can understand. They are held up by what has been passed down from generations past which has not been necessarily consistent with the gospel. Imagine never knowing, never hearing, never being allowed to own your own Bible. Imagine being at the mercy of what was told to you but never have your opportunity to read it and understand it yourself?! (How much we take for granted in our country!)
Of course we will spend time visiting some amazing parts of Greece while we are here too….To say the history is rich here is a terribly lacking description of the jaw-dropping sites we have already seen. (Pictures to come…).
I am delirious, tired, and hopeful that you will enjoy my “letters home” from this journey. Email me back as I believe I will consistently have access to Internet for the next two weeks. Pray for us and for this country! Pray for our home country that there will be a hunger for the word, and no longer will we take so much for granted. We are truly blessed to know Jesus and to have the word available to us in every hotel, every bookstore, at home, in church. Pray that there will be a worldwide awakening for the need of the Gospel everywhere. With love and blessings, Heather