It’s Happening Now!
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In January 2009, Missionary-Pastor Brent Logan spoke at our annual Bible Conference. Our topic was 1 Thessalonians. He told of a trip he had made to the city of Thessalonica and how he had found no churches there preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not mean that of the twenty Baptist churches there was none that would agree with our take on obscure verses, but in that city of 2 million souls there was not one gathering of believers to be found where one might hear the truth of God’s word.
Some time later Pastor Joel Logan accompanied Brent on a trip to Thessalonica and the two spent many days there, during which time they determined that the only thing bearing the name Christian in the city were a few ancient Greek Orthodox churches. They also found that they were free to distribute literature and proclaim the gospel publicly.
In November of 2010 Pastor Joel asked if I had given any thought to the city to which the Holy Spirit had sent two epistles, and I told him that since Pastor Brent was with us I had possessed a burden and longing for that city which I could not escape. This led to a series of meetings and discussions out of which has come the following proposal.
The Aim Simply Stated
THE BIBLE Baptist Church working stateside and Pastor Brent Logan working from Europe are setting forth to co-ordinate a year-long mission trip to the city of Thessalonica. Our objectives are both simple and complex. They are briefly summarized as follows:
- To give a city which was obviously dear to the heart of God an opportunity to hear the gospel once again. In addition to its large Greek population, its location and industry makes it a stopping point for people from all over the world.
- To provide the Holy Spirit an opportunity, through His witnesses, to reach a man or family with whom to start a Bible study, which will become an assembly, which will eventually re-establish the church at Thessalonica.
- In order to accomplish this we plan to arrange twenty-four courses of mission teams, covering thirteen months of evangelistic work in Thessalonica. The details will be set forth below.
Why This Approach
At present, we know of no one making plans to go to Thessalonica as a missionary. Were someone to set out for this locale today it would most likely take 3-4 years of deputation and 1-2 years of language study before they arrived. The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on deputation and travel would be gone. Many years would be gone. When they arrived there would be no foundation there upon which they could build.
Our idea is to gather teams from like-minded churches who will be accountable to their pastors, and these pastors will then entrust these teams to our care and leadership for the duration of their term in Thessalonica. In this way, instead of one man or family spending the time and money necessary to reach this city, individual churches and Christians will quickly gather the funds necessary for a two-week mission trip (which our churches do annually as it is). By each of our churches setting our sites on the same destination for such an outreach, we can provide this city with a prolonged effort.
What THE BIBLE Baptist Church Will Do
- Set the schedule for twenty-seven courses of two teams each.
- Establish at least two teams who are committed to go at any time. Should someone be unable to fulfill their commitment, these standby teams must be ready to fill that spot.
- Determine flight costs by month, purchase air fare, and collect same from team members. We have a travel agent who specializes in mission trips and overseas travel who will co-ordinate for us.
- Determine housing and utility costs. Determine estimated food cost. We will then notify teams of these costs and collect the utility portion in advance of their departure along with air fare.
- Instruct pastors, churches, and team members on the best ways to promote the trip and to secure funding. Send representatives to those churches if necessary.
- Screen those wishing to be team members. Interviews with these persons and their pastors will be conducted to ensure they are sound in doctrine, possessed of necessary work ethic, and capable of working with others in a godly manner.
- Have tracts written, translated, and proofed.
- Have signs written, translated, and proofed.
- Brother James & Sister Lilian will participate in the first and last courses.
What Pastor Logan Will Do From Europe
- Obtain legal documentation stating it is legal to preach, distribute literature, assemble, convert, etc. from someone in or working in Greece. Just because someone can get away with it for a few days does not mean it can be done.
- Acquire housing sufficient for two teams and tract storage. This will require the aid of someone in or working in Greece. This lodging will be centrally located so that there is easy access to the multitudes, to food, to public transport. Housing will be decent but not extravagant; inexpensive but not odious.
- Receive funds for housing and utilities from THE BIBLE Baptist Church and make these payments to landlord.
- Have tracts printed and delivered. We must have at least half a year’s supply of tracts ready and available. We cannot run out.
- Have signs printed and delivered.
What Your Church Will Do
- We are trusting you as the pastor to make this project known to your congregation and encourage their help and participation.
- Find teams willing to go and assure that they are properly suited for the job.
- Contact us with the names of those willing to go and the courses they can fill.
- Help those going from your church to raise their support, prepare for their trip, etc.
- It is imperative that these be persons of excellent character, sound in doctrine, temperate in spirit, and willing to do as they are instructed. Before we do so, you will screen those wishing to be team members.
- Bear a portion of the expense for printing and shipping literature, and for the hire of a translator. This will be included in your total cost along with rent, utilities, and transportation.
What The Teams Will Do
A team will be no less than two individuals or a family. Teams will stay for two weeks. We may get teams willing to stay one month, in which case they will commit for two courses. Stays must overlap.
- Teams will fly from their nearest city to Thessalonica on Mondays or Tuesdays as arranged by THE BIBLE Baptist Church.
- Day 1: recuperation and orientation with the team already on site.
- Day 2: evangelize with the outgoing team.
- Days 3-6: evangelize and or/disciple a full Biblical work day.
- Day 7: worship, prayer, preaching morning and evening, i.e. church services with evangelism in the afternoon
- Days 8-11: evangelize and or/disciple a full Biblical work day
- Day 12: free for recreation
- Day 13-14: evangelize and or/disciple a full Biblical work day
- Day 15: collect and orient incoming teams
- Day 16: return
- Each day one team member will write up a thorough journal entry of the day’s events and post that entry.
- Each team will be responsible for their own meals.
- Each team will ensure that the lodging is in immaculate condition for the arrival of the next team.
It is impossible to determine aforetime what hours of the day will be the best for our work, and this will change from season to season. However, to participate one should be willing to devote twelve hours per day to the work. This is not a vacation.
What We Must Find
We are trusting the Lord to provide us with a translator for this work, or direct us to someone who can be hired for the task. Our prayer is that we will quickly see someone fluent in Greek and English converted who will become the foundation of the ministry, but until that one is found we will need help bridging the language barrier.
We can move forward with none of this until we hear back from each of you. We need to know in the next two weeks how many teams of faithful workers are genuinely interested in participating in this project. This is not a final commitment but will let us know if we should move ahead with this plan.
We estimate the cost of a rental house will be $800 US per month, which includes utility cost. Keep in mind, we must secure a place large enough to house two teams, house large supplies of literature, and host enquirers and Bible studies. We estimate cost of airfare will be $1500 US per person. This will vary depending on the time of year one travels. Keep in mind that it would be best to match your locale to the time of year you go to Greece. Those from the north going in winter and those from the south in summer would make it much easier to deal with issues of climate, clothing, etc.
Greetings to all who have joined on to play some part in Project Thessalonica.
There is great news to report this morning that is a tremendous answer to prayer and will be a huge step forward for us all.
Some years ago our recorded materials were passed along to a brother in Australia. He was blessed and learned and grew. Since that time he has made two visits to spend weeks with us here at THE BIBLE Baptist Church and we have grown to know and love him in the Lord. When we announced our plans to try and reestablish the church at Thessalonica he began to pray, then to be burdened, then to fast and wrestle with God over the matter. Last night we talked together and confirmed the outcome.
Brother Angelo Goussis has committed to spend one year in Greece as part of this ministry. If the name does not strike you as Australian, it is not. Brother Angelo is of Greek ancestry and knows reads and speaks the language. Here are some of the many reasons why his surrender to help in such a way is such a blessing.
1. Our biggest need was for a translator and we could not imagine the difficulty of searching for someone who would be willing to help us witness and preach the gospel. That need has been met.
2. His presence on site will shorten the trip times for all other teams as we will not longer need the overlapping days for orientation.
3. This will also allow the rental of a smaller place of lodging as we will only have one team on site at a time.
4. The need to have two stand-by teams will also be gone as we will be sure to have someone there throughout the year.
Praise the Lord. Please begin to pray for this brother as God prepares his heart for this work.
Even More Great News!
Never underestimate the grace of God to answer prayer or the power of a good testimony. After surrendering to go to Greece for a year, Bro Angelo informed his boss of his plans to take a 12 month leave of absence, allowed under company contracts. His request was refused. Much fervent prayer followed. Nearly two years ago the CEO of the company (similar to our FedEx) spent a day riding with Bro Angelo, who was chosen because of his excellent work ethic, manners, devotion to duty, etc. He spent the day witnessing to the man and at the end of the day gave him a copy of the Bible. The man told him if he could ever be of help to call and gave Bro Angelo his #.
SO our brother made that call. The CEO not only agreed to the leave time but was very excited about Project Thessalonica and that one of their company employees should be involved in such a thing. He discussed supporting the effort and writing it up in the company news letter.
Praise the Lord!
Are you doing your best at work?
We are now ready to begin putting our teams in place. Many of you have expressed a desire to go, but few of you have laid claim to a two week course you plan to fill. Below you will find a revised schedule eliminating the overlapping days. Please let us know which courses you will be taking as soon as possible. Again, we understand this is a long way out but the days pass very quickly and there is much planning that needs to be done.
Also, we have told many of you not to send funds for this project until we were certain it was a go. We are now certain. You may send funds via THE BIBLE Baptist Church designated Project Thessalonica or donate through our web site. If you contribute via the web site please send an accompanying email noting the designation.
Thank you for your prayerful interest. We are excited. God is very good.
The Projected Schedule for Project Thessalonica
Brother Brent Logan and his family will be relocating from Romania to Thessalonica in April to assist teams with this effort.
Brother Angelo Arrives: May 17, 2012
Course 1 May 14 – May 26, 2012 – James & Lilian Knox – THE BIBLE Baptist Church
Course 2 June 4 – June 18, 2012 – Strand/Josey – THE BIBLE Baptist Church
Course 3 June 18 – July 2, 2012 – Grandstaff – Ridge Road Baptist Church
Course 4 July 2 – July 16, 2012 – Courtney/Jones – THE BIBLE Baptist Church
Course 5 July 16 – July 30, 2012 – Moisul – Independent Baptish, Braslow, Romania
Course 6 July 30 – Aug 13, 2012 – Clovis – Antioch Baptist Church
Course 7 Aug 13 – Aug 27, 2012 – Cook – Spring City Baptist Church
Course 8 Aug 27 – Sept 10, 2012 – Logan – Sweet Springs Baptist Church
Course 9 Sept 10 – Sept 24, 2012
Course 10 Sept 24 – Oct 8, 2012 – Suttle – Spring City Baptist Church
Course 11 Oct 8 – Oct 22, 2012 – Pettit – Sweet Springs Baptist Church
Course 12 Oct 22 – Nov 5, 2012 – Shiu – THE BIBLE Bap. Ch. / Hill – Victory Bible Bap.
Course 13 Nov 5 – Nov 19, 2012 – Newcomer – Central Baptist Church
Course 14 Nov 19 – Dec 3, 2012 – Cox – Bluegrass Pike Baptist Church
Course 15 Dec 3 – Dec 17, 2012 – Latulipe – Faith Baptist, Sydney, Austrlia
Course 16 Dec 17 – Dec 31, 2013- Brown / Tanselle / McGee – THE BIBLE Baptist Church
Course 17 Dec 31 – Jan 14, 2013 – Schag, et. al. – Bible Baptist Church, Willard
Course 18 Jan 14 – Jan 28, 2013 – Runyon – BBC/Guyana
Course 19 Jan 28 – Feb 11, 2013 – Pethel – Berea Baptist, Ashville, NC
Course 20 Feb 11 – Feb 25, 2013 – Carlson – Golden Plains Baptist Church
Course 21 Feb 25 – Mar 11, 2013 – Haveman – Heritage Baptist
Course 22 Mar 11 – Mar 25, 2013 – Ward – Croatia
Course 23 Mar 25 – Apr 8, 2013 – MacDonald/Lekki/Herman – BBBC Virginia
Course 24 Apr 8 – Apr 22, 2013 – Jacquet/McGehee/Smith – THE BIBLE Baptist Church
Course 25 Apr 22 – May 6, 2013 – McCormick – Sweet Springs Baptist
Course 26 May 6 – May 20, 2013 – Brown – Spring City Baptist Church
Course 27 May 20 – Jun 3, 2013 – Parrett – New Testament Baptist Church, Halifax, NS Canada
While we realize this is a long time in advance to commit, it must be done in this fashion. We cannot start to build and leave the tower unfinished.
Brent Logan writes: “Thessalonica has large open-air markets. Its people sit for hours at outdoor tables talking over food. Its seaport welcomes souls from all over the world. No one should be under the illusion that the Greeks are seeking the Lord. They will be difficult to win. A very hard year’s work by all will assure nothing but the pleasure of our Saviour. If this is not understood discouragement could set in.”
Can we win them? That is uncertain. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely! Whatever else we may do in our lives, would you not like to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ having had a part in re-establishing the church at Thessalonica? Think on that.
Yours in Christ Jesus
Brother James Knox