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Trips

Greece 2011

Athens, Greece May 21-31, 2011

Working with Southern Baptist missionaries, we will be taking part in a conference and leading pastor conferences for six different ethnic groups. The large conference will include the Greek and Ethnic Churches together and will be the first time they are meeting together.

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Greece 2011

Jun  1st,  2011Why We Came

The missionary we are working with here is convinced that God has brought us in His perfect time.  When we planned the trip we had no idea the tension regarding the immigration crisis that would build while we were here.  There have been a number of large demonstrations.  Thirteen non-Greeks have been killed.  Now consider what has happened:

1.  We planned a luncheon with leaders from the Greek and Ethnic Churches.  This was the first time they got together.  There were 15 people groups represented.  It was a privilege to be there.

2.  Philemon was able to preach at the flagship evangelical church in Greece.  It was the first time an African had ever preached there!  Not only were the African pastors shocked to hear an African was preaching at the church, but they felt loved and recognized by the Greek Church.

3.  The missionaries we able to assess the needs and opportunities from training pastors.  We are going to be able to help them by sending two teams a year.

God is good.

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May  30th,  2011You Can't Make This Stuff Up

We had a wonderful day on Sunday.  Darren, Philemon and Danny preached at Greek Churches. Joe preached at a Pakastani Church. It was a privilege to worship with the saints around Athens!

We met an American in our hotel that when he looked at Bryan he said, "I know you, you are the church planter in St. Paul.  I've been to your church."  Small world!  It was a fun conversation.

We found out that one of the students in Mike's class wrote a textbook that is still used about how Muslims should persecute Christians.  We are glad he is now our brother!

For the rest of the week we have teaching sessions at night.  Joe and Bryan are with a group of Pakistani pastors.  Will and Anna are with Albanian leaders.  Danny is at a Greek Church.  Mike with pastors who speak Arabic.  Darren is with Greek leaders and just found out his time of teaching will be broadcast to all the Greek Islands so that the pastors who could not make it can take part.  

We are so thankful to be here.  

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May  28th,  2011A Privilege

Today we all had one of the greatest privileges of our lives.  Greece is facing many difficult issues.  One if the fact that 20% of Athens is made up of immigrants and refugees.  One of the results is that churches have been popping up around Athens.  For the first time the Greek evangelical church leaders and many Ethnic evangelical church leaders came together for a luncheon. 

I think there were at least 15 countries represented.  Philemon Yong, who works with TLI, preached from Ephesians 4 on the issue of unity.  We then had a time of prayer where the Greek Church prayed for the Ethnic Church and then vice versa.  I wish I could have taken a picture, but we were participating!!

There are so many stories to share it would take forever.  We have met someone who knows a Christian in Nepal who came to Christ when Christians raised his mother from the dead (she was dead for a day!).  We met another brother from Morocco who was in an Islamic Studies program for 7 years which included persecuting Christians.  Pastor Yotis, the leading evangelical pastor in Greece was introduced to John Piper through Scott Hafeman, and received photocopies of his sermons in the mail when he was a student in the US.  

Bryan is preaching at a Pakistani church tonight.  Darren and Danny are preaching at a Greek Church.  Joe is preaching at an Arabic Church.  Philemon is preaching at a Greek Church in the morning and an African Church at night.  The Moody Men's Choir is here and will sing at the church Darren is preaching at.  

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May  27th,  2011The Battle for Attica Square

A good overview of the plight of the refugees and immigrants we are working with:

 

Th

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May  26th,  2011A Visit to Corinth

Today we spent the morning and afternoon visiting Corinth.  We thought we should show you three interesting photos.

 

In the time Corinthians was written, mirrors were made of bronze.  Here is what they look like.  Paul in 1 Cor 13:12 writes, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face."

 

 

 

Here is a picture of the Bema seat in Corinth.  This is the location where Paul was dragged before Gaius in Acts 18 by a mob of people to be judged.  Paul was beat and thrown in prison.  He would later use the Bema seat as imagery in 2 Cor 5:10 where he writes, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

 

This is the port where Paul sailed with Priscilla and Aquila to Ephesus.  This is also where Phoebe (the deaconness for all you who don't think women should be deacons...haha!) lived.  The ruins here are an old Byzantine Church.

 

 

 

We enjoyed the time off.  Right now Will, Bryan, Joe and Mike are teaching.  They are doing a great job.

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