Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 1

Our team finally made it to Greece last night after three days of prefield training and a long plane ride. We are staying about 45 minutes away from Athens at the Greek Bible Institute. Because it is our first day and we are still adjusting to the jetlag, we had a fairly relaxing day. We visited the First Evangelical Church of Athens this morning which is just a few blocks from the Parliament and Acropolis and across the street from the Arch of Hadrian. The service was in Greek (obviously), but we were able to listen to a translator through a headset. After church, we went to the beach with some of the students at the Bible Institute. The Aegean Sea (Mediterranean Sea) is only about a 10 minute drive from the school. It's a rocky beach, but has the most beautiful blue water you've ever seen!

God blessed me with an amazing team including 7 people - 5 girls and 2 boys. We spent a lot of time at prefield training in North Carolina getting to know one another and participating in team building exercises. There are many different personalities on the team, but we get along really well and together we possess a great set of strengths that will serve us well in our ministry areas.

The food is amazing!! That's an understatement. We’ve eaten twice at a local restaurant that’s in walking distance of the school. It’s very inexpensive (we can eat for about $3) because we are not in a touristy city and they have awesome souvlakis (which is just basically a gyro) and Greek salads. The Greek salads consist of fresh tomatoes, olives, onions, and peppers topped with a huge chunk of feta cheese. Yum!

Our first day has been pretty relaxing, but we expect things to pick up fairly soon. They have many different ministry options for us including serving meals to refugees, working with victims of sex trafficking, university ministry, etc. I’m so excited to see what the Lord has planned for this summer and promise to keep you updated!

Meanwhile, here is something you can be praying for…

Greece is a very people-oriented country. They spend a significant amount of time building friendships and talking with each other which means long meals and slow paces. This probably sounds great to most of you, but being a task-oriented person, this will be a struggle for me. It’s often hard for me to feel like I’ve gotten anything accomplished if I’m not “doing” something. I need prayer that I will not become so focused on the assignments that I forget to value to people I meet.

Thanks and love you all!!