Sunday, June 12, 2011

Greece update...

I don't know where to begin. Athens is beautiful,  the food is amazing, and God is testifying to his goodness all around us. I have been in Athens for two weeks and I will be here for two more. We will be spending an additional week in Corinth for debrief about our trip.

One of my top favorite things about the trip so far is growing closer to my team. We are all from the "Great Plains" of central U.S., but most of us didn't know each other before the trip. In the fundraising stage before the trip I often received lots of encouragement from them. Now that we are here and are growing our friendships, the team is all the more encouraging. My teammate on campus, Stephanie, asks each day, "Brandon, how can I encourage you today?" Each day we get more comfortable and more goofy with each other while at the same time sharing our common passion of knowing God and making him known.

One of the main purposes of this trip is to meet Greek university students that share with us the vision of hope for Greece through Jesus Christ. Hope is a rare thing here in Greece. The economy is falling hard, the citizins don't trust their government, and people are leaving the country for better opportunities.

In the face of such things, we have been blessed to find hope with certain students and a hunger for Jesus himself. Students tell us they are optomistic in trusting God. One girl said "I believe that Church is more than a building." One young man was excited to share about his love for God and the effectiveness of prayer. He told us that he prays every day on the way to his lessons and that he notices a sharp difference on the days that he does not pray. Each day on campus we meet more students that are interested in spiritual topics and how the bible applies to our daily lives.

Of course there are the students that are not as optimistic, but that's what's great about Greece; they LOVE to talk! They are so so courious why we have such faith and why we traveled half way around the world to spend our summer on a hot grafitti-filled campus. They are so open-minded. An average conversation last over 2hours. When we have to leave in the middle of a conversation we have to apologize and explain clearly why we have to leave. We have been on campus initianting conversations about 10 days for around 3 hours a day. With the average converstaion rate; we have talked to about 20 groups of friends or "paraeas" and all of them have been so amazing and spirit filled.

We are not only here to have spiritual converations on campus. We are also initiating to have second and thrid follow-up meetings. We hope to clearly present the gospel and to offer a safe place to grow spiritually all while building genuine friendships. These students that we follow up with and are interested we hope to "pass-off" to the full time staff/interns. Americans can only do so much here in Greece and trust the rest to God, but it will have to be Greek students filled with the Holy Spirit that take this message to their country and beyond.

Well, this is a summary of what I'm doing here in Athens. Stay tuned for more specific stories and prayer requests. You can also get more current updates at my facebook group:!/home.php?sk=group_187878114590173&ap=1 just request to join. There are plenty of pictures with more to come.

Thank you so much. God bless you.