December is a slower month around here for people in Thessaloniki. The universities emptied and many businesses closed on many days. For about a 8 or 9 day stretch, the streets were relatively empty. Things began to pick up again after their day of the epiphany, when they think they are celebrating the baptism of Christ. Actually, it is a big Orthodox holiday that sees thousands of the most religious line the streets near the main church and head down to the water’s edge where they have a time of blessing the waters and the throwing in of a cross to be rescued by “chosen” men. It is easily the one day of the year that I am met with the most negativity. But, the Word of God went out!
We also found out that we must have been pushing some buttons with the religious because they put out a large brochure to the people in the area of the church detailing who were are, what we are doing, and even giving our “talking points” – asking if they know where they are going to go when they die, do they know what must be done to get to Heaven, etc. They put our address in there and also their responses to our “heresies.” In fact, that is what they called us, the heretics from America. It was put out by the anti-heresy arm of the Orthodox church. Please pray that even this would make people curious enough to come for a visit to see what this “new-found heresy” is that is being preached. In a way, we were just thankful to see that the Word of the Lord is having some affect, even when we do not see an increase in numbers as a result of our labor.
We do have a blessing and answer to prayer – the Lord provided just the right amount of money for our family to obtain a small van for our growing family! The Lord knew what we needed and we were able to get the money for that. We just took possession last week and we are so thankful for the Lord’s provision and your prayers.
Since our last letter, we had an election that was called for and then the actual election. I am sure you must have seen some of the news about this election as the socialist party came to power. For us as a ministry, this was a very good thing because they want to break some of the bond between the church and the state. However, it remains to be seen what affect the new government will have on the people of Greece. Please pray that God has His way with all of this that people might be more receptive to the Gospel. We found that was the case leading up to the election and we pray it continues.
Rachel is doing well with her pregnancy and we are now just a couple of months away from the birth of our next child! Please pray for health for mommy and baby during this last period of time.
Our whole family thanks you for your support of us that enables us to serve the Lord on this side of the world. We are greatly humbled and blessed by it. You are in our prayers! Thank you for your prayers on our behalf as well.Thank you all for your prayers and support! It is greatly appreciated!
Looking for His Return,
Charlie, Rachel, Chloe, Charlie, and Daniel