2017 Greece Missions: Teaching and Learning
The short-term volunteers at Omonia Church! We only got to spend a week with these wonderful people but we love them all![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This is the second Greece Missions trip update by Crystal Hsieh, Rebecca Suh, Vanessa Lam and Sharon Tang. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Hello Lighthouse family!
It’s been a week since we arrived in Athens! We have been serving at Omonia Church in Athens this week teaching English to refugees and playing with their children. The English classes are offered from Monday through Thursday, with a devotional time and free lunch offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
How has our experience been?
- It’s been surprisingly fun to teach English (mainly to Syrians). Also, it’s a privilege to hear their stories, their struggles, and best of all, their dreams and hopes for the future. God has made the people here (including Greeks) incredibly resilient. Though they lack wealth and possessions, they abound in grace and love.
- Being in Greece is nothing that I expected it to be. Not that I really had any idea what it was going to be like…but already on Day 1 of serving I was hit so hard with seeing and experiencing God’s faithfulness and love all the way in Greece. Being with the refugees has taught me that it’s about building a relationship with them and really getting to know them. It’s been a blessing getting to hear their stories and witness the joy that they have even amidst brokenness and suffering.
- I came to Greece expecting to share love with the Greeks and refugees. But in teaching English to refugees and serving with other volunteers, I have been so blessed by the love they have shown me. In their stories, there is so much darkness and loss, yet they still find so much joy in relationships, calling us “my friend!” and always eager to show us hospitality.
- It’s been good so far – I’ve been working mainly with the children (me+ about 20 kiddos), which was pretty rough at first. Their languages range from Arabic/Farsi/Kurdish and they’re quite cheeky. But it warms my heart when they offer to help me clean up or invite me to join their silly (but strange) games. I’ve also been very encouraged by those who are serving the church long-term and their loving relationships with the refugees here.
Note: There’s so much we want to say, but this is the short version for now. We can tell you all more when we get back…
How can you be praying for us?
- Joy and energy while serving
- Trusting in God’s provision for these people rather than our personal ability
- Being thankful for the little things
- For Omonia church – they need more long-term workers and money to sustain the amount of people that are coming in
- For Omonia church staff – for strength in their ministry
- For all the refugees (Syrian/Afghan/Iraqi/Iranian/others)
- Finding hope in Christ not in just better circumstances
Crystal, Rebecca, Vanessa, and Sharon