Things have gotten much more difficult here over the course of the week. I have been out until very late at night many times this week to meet the crowds as much as I can and am constantly seeing lines at the ATMs no matter the time of the day or night as well as seeing the effect of what this situation is doing to so many people.
Along with the drain on people from the financial crisis (in case some did not know, Greeks can only withdraw a maximum of about $66 per day and the banks have been closed since last Friday, June 26) comes a mental drain as well. People just look exhausted. They are not out nearly as much anymore (more towards the end of the week than the beginning) and the cafes and restaurants have been practically empty. That is big because that was one part of the economy that never shifted, even in the worst of times. People always like to go out to eat or drink coffee and talk and they have not been doing that.
Shelves at many stores have emptied and are no longer being filled as they are not able to make payments outside of the country which prevents them from receiving imports, of which much of their inventories are.
Next week, we will begin helping people at church with foodstuffs and water as it is expected to get worse. The money will be gone from the banks by Monday morning and many places are no longer taking Greek credit cards – some are not even taking my US credit card.
During the middle of the week, people were taking Gospel tracts in droves and many coming over to talk about the Bible. That is a true blessing! As the week went on, however, people began to just take the tracts and move on quickly because they were receiving an onslaught of pamphlets relating to the vote tomorrow. The good part was that the ground was very littered with papers as people just threw them down – but the Gospel tracts were the one piece of literature that only went to the ground a couple of times!
Our family is doing well. We have stocked up on fuel, cash, and food so we should be all set in those areas (at least for a couple of weeks). Please pray for the people at church that we would be able to help them as much as possible during this time but that they would also be faithful to church in spite of this turmoil. Many people are choosing to not go out at all because of all this and I know that being in church would be a blessing and uplift their souls.
Please also pray for the conditions here. We do not know what is going to happen but we ultimately are asking that God would use this and whatever conditions follow as a way to turn people from the false gospels to the true Gospel. Please pray for that with us.
Thank you all for your continued prayer and support! It certainly means a lot knowing that there are so many praying for our family and the ministry, especially during this time.
Charlie Barkowski & family