The summer has officially ended and it is good to see it go! The weather can get quite hot here in the summer but the real issue is that the city empties quite frequently as people head to the beaches. It makes for some very quiet days on the streets at times!
Last week, I had the blessing of leading a young man to the Lord. He has been coming to church for a short while and had been one of a few people who said they wanted to be baptized. Like I do each time, I met with each person to hear their testimony if I had not heard it already. He had an account of how he had found a church in his home country (he is from there) and he had come to learn some things about Christ but never actually got saved.
We met together at church after that with Elia to translate. I went through the Gospel with him and he was so excited at the end as he said this was exactly what he had been looking for but had not had it so clear before. He always listens during church but it wasn’t until then that he connected everything. He had left his country out of fear of thinking he was a Christian and he became a Christian as a result of fleeing! Please pray for him that he would grow.
It is really excited to see how God works things out. A few years ago, I took a short trip to this young man’s country and prayed for opportunity to share the Gospel there. I actually spent two days in his city and God just gave me such a burden for the people there. Now, God has brought many of these people to our church here in Greece! We have seen some saved and many who were already Christians we have been able to baptize! The work continues with them as we have weekly studies with them so please keep them in prayer!
We had another baptism a couple of Sundays ago and it was a glorious time! It still is so sweet to me to see these people tearing up as they come out of the water as they had wanted to get baptized since they had gotten saved in their country but it was too dangerous and difficult for them to be baptized there. So, they are so excited to get to do it here and we are excited for them. You should see the looks on the Greek peoples’ faces as they pass by! 🙂
The Lord allowed me to meet a man from a nearby country and he wants to get together to talk about the Lord as does an atheist Greek I also met. Please pray for these men that God would open their eyes.
New Home for a Couple
There is a couple that has been coming here for a while and they have been a tremendous blessing. They are also from another country and you should hear their testimony! They had wanted to stay here but had been having some trouble because of the work situation. Fortunately, the Lord has provided an opportunity for them to try and earn some money and that should help but in the meantime, our family and another family were able to help get them settled in a small home not far from us. They are excited about it and are looking forward to really beginning their lives here. We have them and some other people from church over every week now and they really enjoy the fellowship.
The bus situation here in Thessaloniki has deteriorated quite a bit. They had a few day strike last month and now we are in the middle of another strike. The bus workers have not been paid since June and they are refusing to begin work again until they get their pay. It has been 5 days now with no buses and no end in sight right now. This has been disappointing to many of the people as they have to come by bus from their camp over an hour away. They have not been able to come for classes or church this week and they are really eager to come again. We have packed out our 7 seat van with 9 people over the last couple of services as well as running out to pick up some others as well so we would really like the buses to start again also!
Elia has taken it upon himself to start preparing food on Sunday mornings for a big lunch after so that the immigrants can leave with a full stomach – something they do not get to enjoy all the time at the camp.It is really exciting to see Elia taking steps like this as well as in his spiritual life as he and I have been spending more time together lately in the Bible and practical lessons.
Our family is doing great and our kids have started school. Please pray for Rachel as she teaches them and for us as we continue to work on our Greek (I am also working on another language to speak with the immigrants). We are very excited about what God is doing here and thrilled that He is allowing us to have a part in it!