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Athens Winter 2013

Athens, Greece January 11-20, 2013

TLI provides the curriculum and teachers for a Bible Institute in Athens, Greece that serves the needs of the immigrant community. Classes are offered in four separate locations and in four languages for the following: Arabic, Farsi, Romanian and English speakers (for African and Filipino church leaders.) The immigrant community of Athens is roughly 20% of the city's population and there is very little theological training offered in these languages. You are invited to come and help provide leadership training for current and future church leaders among the immigrant community. Many current church leaders are former Muslims who now have a great opportunity to reach Muslims who have emigrated to Europe from Middle Eastern and North African countries.

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

Field Notes   Athens Winter 2013

Jan  17th,  2013Priceless Treasure

On Tuesday an Iranian man was walking around outside in a nearby plaza, praying to Allah for help with all his struggles.  He walked by an Orthodox church and thought he would talk to some Christians.  One of these Christians asked him to the Bible school I have been teaching in.  He met some of my Iranian students, and they led him to the Lord.  Later that night they asked him to give his testimony during our class.  And then on Wednesday night, another young Iranian man became a Christian.  I have been so encouraged by the evangelistic zeal of my students and the deep hunger they have for the Word.  Tonight as I taught them how to preach Christ from Genesis, they were literally on the edge of their seats and taking notes furiously.  They are so hungry for the Word, and they respond to it as though it were of greater value than priceless treasure.  Tonight as I started class, to encourage my students, I started with these verses: 

13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 
15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. 
19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. 

by Evan Burns

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Jan  15th,  2013Beginnings

By Nate

We're sitting here reviewing for tonight's class.  Things are well.   The weather is gorgeous: a mid-fall feel with many leaves on the trees, partly cloudy, approx. 60 degrees.   A far cry from last year when it was overcast wet, in the mid thirties, and we almost slid off the back side of the Areopagus/Mars Hill.   Speaking of that site, which is just west of the Parthenon, we were there this morning.   The guys had their picture taken in front of the Acts 17 monument while pointing at the Parthenon (Temple of Athena), and shouting from Acts 17:24-25, "...and (our God) does not live in Temples built by hands, and is not served by human hands as if He needed anything..."!
All the teachers are squared away in substantial groups that have surprisingly grown from what we were told to expect -every group has at least 3-4 more students and should keep them the duration of the week.   So many church leaders desperate for richer, deeper content for their congregations!   By the way, these leaders are either developing their networks in the immigrant communities of Athens, headed to church plant in Europe (with imminent efforts in Frankfurt and Oslo, I believe), or returning to their home countries.   Powerful!
Our team has gelled wonderfully.   We are all sports enthusiasts and half of us acquainted with all the history/stats, esp. of Football.   The Seattle loss was heartbreaking for Dave!   The curriculum is so rich, extensive, and well laid out that we're having to really cram.   The trick is to be faithful to the Holy Spirit in the moment (of teaching), recall our previously generated margin notes for deeper exploration, and communicate baseline content to these hungry students...all while given only two hours per lesson!
Thursday we'll head for Corinth, both excavation of the city site (think Priscilla and Aquila) as well as the mount, the "acro-Corinth" which rises like a fortress from the valley floor.  

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