Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Love Meals 2009

Christmas is a special time of year for us at HM. The whole team joins together to prepare an unforgettable day for the refugees and the homeless of Athens and this year was no exception.

Preparations began weeks before as we contemplated what gifts would best suit our guests; sleeping bags, coats, blankets, and food bags. Then the week before Christmas we were blessed to be able to purchase a new convection oven so that we would be able to cook the chicken dinner on site, instead of cooking offsite and needing to transport pans of hot chicken and potatoes across the busy city of Athens.

The hall was decorated, the gifts were wrapped and on Saturday Dec 19th we hosted a meal at 2pm for about 200 homeless Greek people and just hours later at 7pm we served dinner to over 350 Afghan men, women and children. The hall was bursting at it seams, we even fed an overflow crowd in the balcony! And one last time, on Monday Dec 21st, we fed over 200 Muslim refugee men.

What a joy it was to share the gift of Jesus’ birth with so many. At each meal, Bob Hill, a Christian illusionist, presented the clear message of the gospel in an entertaining series of tricks on the stage. Christmas songs were sung, a warm meal and treats were served, and gifts were handed out to all. What a privilege to serve Jesus in this way. We think that the servers were blessed more than the recipients!

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Fathers, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:14. Glory to God in the Highest!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Refresh - 2nd Annual Conference for Pastors and Christian Workers

This past weekend pastors from many churches and denominations came together for a time of refreshment and fellowship at a conference hosted by HM. Our desire was to bless pastors and Christian workers and their spouses as an expression of our appreciation and gratitude for their hard work in the Lord’s harvest.

We were challenged as Tom Mahairas, a Greek evangelist from New York City, shared with us God’s heart for each of His servants. That in the whole expanse of the universe, God has His eye on us and His great desire is to care for us. We are God’s own special, chosen, private and greatest treasured possession!

Tom talked about the special privilege it is that Greeks have to know and to understand the original language of the New Testament and their responsibility to take this knowledge of the Word to world.

All were encouraged as pastors shared some of the positive changes that have occurred in Greece over the last 20 years in ministry. It appears that this is a new season of openness and cooperation in working together for the cause of Christ.

“Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5.

Please be praying for Greece and the Nations!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Morning Star News

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-the Lord on high is mighty. Ps 93:4
Hellenic Ministries' sailboat, the Morning Star, has had a busy fall. Almost every weekend, different groups have been out on it; some for spiritual retreats, some for training exercises. Regardless of the occasion, God is touching lives in this unique ministry setting. Here are a few thoughts from recent participants:

It was very neat to me to see the spiritual interest that surfaced in the teens we served over the weekend. There is just something very calming about seeing nature from still water while talking about God. I saw people evaluating themselves spiritually, as they were forced to relax and think without all the distractions that normally so consistently interfere. For myself, I saw God really use the time away from school and the city to work in me as I worked on the boat and spent time with Him.
Timothy Price

Serving on the Morning Star has been a true inspiration, leaving me with experiences that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It's not just about expanding your knowledge and learning all there is to know about a boat. It's more than that...It's the idea behind it that makes the difference. Seeing how God works in the lives of those involved in this ministry and the affects it has on people is what touched me the most. Through my short experience over the past few weeks I have gotten the chance to work with several different groups and I have come to enjoy it very much. The way you can connect with people on the boat is truly unique and the Morning Star creates a cozy atmosphere you can't really escape from. It almost forces you to feel like a family, but I think that's what makes people feel comfortable and when people feel comfortable they can express themselves easier and just be themselves. I was impressed by the depth and level of the discussions that took place on the boat, especially by a group of young teenagers. They were analyzing topics about life and God and how real He is in their lives and how seriously they take His will and try to put it to practice every day. Being able to be part of that experience has been a true blessing and I know that God has great plans for the Morning Star and many lives can be affected and touched through it.
Anastasia Papadopoulou

When I first heard about the Morning Star ministry I was incredibly excited to get involved as much as possible. Before I had the chance, however, I broke my leg in a rock climbing accident. I was incredibly blessed and encouraged when the Captain told me that I wouldn't be counted out just because of my injury, he told me I was no less useful because of it and that this was my chance to "learn to be a human being instead of a human doing". I still do feel pretty useless and in the way many times when I'm hobbling around the boat, but am so excited for this opportunity for God to blow my mind with the power of prayer. While others are cleaning or cooking or fixing things, I'm praying, and I trust that God will do great things. I praise Him for this time to draw near to Him and serve on the boat in a completely different way than I initially expected. Rachel Scott

One thing I love about the boat is looking at the stars at night. It really makes you feel small and God seem huge. Where I come from the stars are not nearly as good, so its quite a blessing. You get a glimpse of the creativity and limitless power of God. John Oehler

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nashville Rocks Athens! October 2009

What an incredible privilege it was for the music team and the key leaders of the House of Worship to spend a weekend conference with seven musicians from Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Our team was so blessed as these men shared not only their incredible musical talent, but also their humble hearts as they encouraged us to make worship a part of who we are everyday. They challenged us to recognize ourselves as broken people before the Lord, but if He would touch us and cleanse us (as of course He has done!) we can confidently say, “Lord, here am I, send me… use me for your glory!” (Isaiah 6)

Please pray that we will continue to grow from the special times we spent interacting with this amazing team. We learned so much as they literally walked beside us to practice song writing, producing, leading worship, and rehearsing for a musical song set.
May these lessons propel us forward as we offer our worship, talents, and dreams before the Lord.

In all that we do may…the church be blessed…the Gospel preached…we decrease…and HE increase!

Monday, September 21, 2009

HM Summer Recap 2009

This is a slide show from Hellenic Ministries' summer activities. In this slide show you will see pictures from the various camps we hosted as well as Operation Joshua. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Kick-Off, 15 September 2009

The Hellenic Ministries team and several other friends of the ministry gathered over at Johnathan and Miriam Macris’ house on Tuesday night to inaugurate the Fall HM season. We were privileged to have our new US Director and his wife, Dan and Marilyn Bostrom, from Wheaton, visiting with us as well as Keith VanderWeide from Overlake Christian Church in Seattle.

The night was cool, the stars were out, and children and adults alike were excited to reunite after a busy summer of ministry, furloughs and vacations. We enjoyed a warm time of fellowship around a lovely dinner and then shared an extended time remembering God’s goodness and faithfulness to us throughout the summer.

We look forward with eager anticipation to all that God has prepared for us this Fall.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands.” Ps 90:17 For His glory alone.

Mini Missions School, August 2009

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19

After years of dreaming, brain storming and planning, HM held its first ever Mini Missions School out at Porto Astro in early August. The main goal of the conference was to challenge young Greeks that evangelism and missions is a call that includes everyone. Beyond our wildest expectations, about 20 Greeks attended.

A broad range of topics concerning missions was covered such as cross-cultural communication, personal evangelism, outreach techniques, support raising, support raising, living by faith, bible studies, short term mission trips etc. Greek and non-Greek missionaries informed about the work of God currently in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We sampled food and customs from each of these different cultures.

After spending the long weekend at Porto Astro, several of the team continued with a trip to the islands of Ios and Paros. There they were able to meet with and encourage local believers as well as to use some of their newly acquired skills in outreach and prayer walks.

Participants came away with a more informed knowledge of world missions and how they could be a part of God’s great commission. Please pray that God will continue to work in the hearts of Greeks to reach others for Christ.

“This conference got me out of my ‘box’ – it helped me to extend my horizon for God’s world and His plans for my life,” Lambrini.

Young Adult "Survivor" Camp

Romans 8:37 all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Young adult camp was held over a long weekend in the beginning of August. The theme was “Survivor” and we were split into the tribes of Manasseh and Rueben. We were challenged to not only be survivors in our everyday lives, but to be winners as victorious Christians!

We had incredible times together each morning doing Bible study. We spent time searching the Scriptures, asking difficult questions, diving deeper into the Word and begging God to reveal His truths to us.

In the afternoons, we played competitive games in our teams that required unity, trust, communication and teamwork to reach the goal. Playing like this encouraged us to think about how we need to work together as Christians to make Christ known all over the world.

Evenings brought times of corporate worship and messages by pastors. Each night we were exhorted to look at our relationship with the Lord and the spiritual battles we face each day and to ask ourselves if we were merely surviving or living victorious Christian lives. We were reminded of the self-sacrifice and wholehearted surrender required to be winners. We were challenged to remember that the choice is ours; we can chose to believe the lies of the enemy or chose to trust God and the truths of His Word.

May we all continue to live as more than conquerors for Jesus! Δόζα στο Θεό!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Leadership Camp

I’ve just come back from Leadership Camp where I spent 4 amazing days on the Morning Star with a great team. It was a wonderful experience of parea (fellowship), laughter and adventure – in my opinion the best combination :o) There were 16 people onboard including Alex our skipper, so it should have been quite close quarters but it didn’t feel like it. During our traveling to two islands, we had sessions where we discussed leadership and what it means. The main thing that I learned during this camp is that anybody who influences somebody else is a leader. I have never viewed influence as leadership before and that was an interesting revelation. Once we start influencing somebody we are leading them down a specific path, which is our path and hence we become leaders as the path is familiar to us. So potentially we are all leaders as we all influence others at some level. We can influence people by words or by actions. One of my favorite quotes is by St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel, if necessary use words.” Here he is talking about leading by actions. I believe that as Christians we need to be extra careful because people are watching us all the time. Our every word and action is being analyzed by people around us because they hold us to a higher standard. All this to say that just by being who you are, living and breathing, can influence somebody. So my challenge to you, dear reader, is to be careful because in your day-to-day lives you are influencing people around you, knowingly or unknowingly, and hence you are being a leader whether you want to or not. It’s an interesting way to look at it and a different perspective on leadership but that was the thing that stood out the most to me. By being who I am, I’m leading people which is cool and scary all at the same time.

Submitted by Janet Sewell

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teen Camp "Party in the House"

Not only have exciting things happened this month with the Operation Joshua outreach... but also young hearts have come to know the Lord out at HM's campsite property. This week, the 10-day long TEEN sports camp came to an end.

Be encouraged by this powerful story...

During the worship time on the second to last night of camp, a dual "call" forward was given. The speaker asked for those who wanted to commit their lives to Christ for the first time to stand up and come forward and for those who already knew Christ as their Savior but wanted to take the step of completely surrendering and dedicating their whole lives to Christ to come forward also. The response was immediate and comprehensive as within seconds nearly the entire camp of 60+ young Greeks stood to walk to the front! Δόξα στο Θεό!!

Thank you for praying for the Greek young people! The Lord is definitely answering prayer. Please continue to pray for those starting a new relationship with the Lord and for the others who are seeking to grow closer to their Savior. Pray for them to have the eyes and ears to sense the Lord's call on their lives, and the strength and courage to obey Him. Finally, please don't forget to pray for the hearts of the three or more teens who didn't stand up and commit themselves to one side or the other that night. Pray that the Lord will continue to pursue them and draw them closer to Himself, using the experience they have had at camp as a memorable landmark on their journey to come to know their loving Savior.

1 Cor 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

Operation Joshua 2 Completed!

This summer's OJ2 outreach is over. We passed out 44,000+ New Testaments in the Messinia area of the Peloponnese, Greece over a period of 6 days. We had about 120 volunteers from 11 countries represented. God's Word makes quite a stir as reported on the front page of the local newspaper, "Proselytism in Plastic Bags." Not everyone was thrilled to receive the gift we gave out but we are encouraged since we know that God's Word does not return void. Is 55:11.

To read more click
Here's some more stats:

1 front page newspaper story attack
1 arrest for interrogation purposes
2 TV reports against us
3 priests in an Orthodox church in Kalamata blessed us for the great work we were doing
4-5 condemning radio announcements related to our OJ2 efforts by the Orthodox State Church
6 day outreach campaign
7-10 hours/day on road delivering Bibles
14 teams
17 countries represented on OJ team
19.5 tons of Bibles
36 vehicles
45 priests contacted by mail and sent leather bound Bibles
58 tents at camp
108 villages visited in one day (record)
153 total participants
375 villages covered (door-to-door)
1,650 eggs served to team
6-7,000 villages yet to be reached with Bibles in mainland Greece (Islands completed)
15,081 New Testaments delivered door-to-door in one day in the city of Kalamata
19,000 kms traveled
40,000 Euros paid (1st installment) on 114,147 Euro bill for Bibles
44,091 Greek hardbound New Testaments distributed in 5 1/2 days!
74,147 Euros still to pay for Bibles in 2 installments - end of Oct & end of Nov
(Please don't forget us!).

Thank you for being a part of this incredible outreach - through association, prayer, Adopting-a-Greek Village, volunteering or supporting us either in spirit and/or financially!

Family Refugee Camp

10 Afghan families, including men, women, 25 kids and 15 teens, comprised our family refugee camp this year. What a pleasure to watch their delight as they were given time to enjoy rest and refreshment and the beauty of God's creation at Porto Astro.

We all had an incredible time. Each day's program was designed to share the love of Christ in various practical and tangible ways such as discussion groups, crafts, story telling, The Jesus Film DVD, a Christian illusionist etc. The response of these Muslim people was encouraging. They were enthusiastic listeners and participants in our discussions. Additionally, we shared Christian fellowship with our guests through swimming, canoeing, soccer games and other leisure activities.

These families captured our hearts as we lived among them and learned their stories. Lives of hardships that most of us have never known. Yet they were open to the love of Jesus that we extended to them. In fact, they were overwhelmed and commented on the difference they noticed in us.

One Christian pastor that helped us with Farsi translation said that he had gained more in the five days spent at camp with the people than he had in the two years that he had spent trying to reach these people for Jesus. Glory to God!

Please continue to pray for the hearts and souls of these families.

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Mens' Refugee Camp

The first camp of the season was a men’s refugee camp in which we were able to offer an escape from the chaos of everyday life in Athens to 14 young Muslim men. Most of these men sleep in abandoned buildings with no electricity or water. They daily live in fear of the police, either from the law or brutality. When I asked one of the guys how he slept after the first night at camp, he answered that it was the best sleep he had had in the three months that he has been in Greece. Many of the men said that Porto Astro was the most beautiful place they had ever seen.

We enjoyed times of swimming, soccer, archery, canoeing, rock climbing, singing and dining together. Additionally we spent several hours each day teaching and discussing Jesus and Christianity with them. Most of the guys are very religious, even observing five times of prayer each day.

One of the goals of our staff was to finish the week feeling confident that we had clearly presented the gospel. And by the end of the camp, we all agreed that we had shared and communicated the gospel in various ways, several times.

May the Word of God challenge their minds and cut to their hearts!

Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of hte One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matt Gulley

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Retreat for Muslim men this week, June 9-11

The temperature has risen here and so has the pace of ministry.
Ready or not, the summer camps begin this week!

Please pray for us...

This week we host 20 refugee men for a three day retreat at the property.
They are all Muslims.
Please pray that God will be working in their hearts to draw them to Himself.
Pray that the love of Christ will shine through our lives to them.
For understanding of the gospel of John as it is shared this week with the men.
That Jesus will make Himself know as God.
For safety, logistics, etc.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer is Here!

The HM staff met last weekend out at Porto Astro to dedicate the summer to the Lord’s work at the property and in Greece. We were encouraged to live a life pleasing to God and to meditate on what that might look like for each of us. We shared worship and communion together and spent time praying for all the “things” on the summer calendar including Operation Joshua and the summer sports camps.

We were challenged to make the most of the opportunities that God gives each one of us this summer to impact all those we encounter with the love of Jesus. Show time is here and we want to represent Him well!

Please join in praying with us … that God will reach many this summer and draw them into deeper relationship with Him…that many will hear His voice and step out in obedience to whatever God might ask them to do…that the HM staff will so live Christ in front of all we meet that they will be inspired to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to Him. We are not a camp ministry but a discipleship ministry!

2 Corinthians 5:9 So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
John 15: 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

House of Worship, 3 May 2009

This past Sunday was such a blessing! There were around 80 people present Sunday evening at Evripidou. We looked at Psalm 23 together and talked about our fears. We were greatly encouraged as we listened to what God tells us about fear. Especially in verse 4:

‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

We prayed for each other in our small groups, and then we spent some time in worship! We prayed again in our large group for Yannis who has suffered with terrible head pain for the past 4 years. He will be going into hospital for an operation on Monday 11th May. It was great to have Joe join our worship band for this week, and he sang a solo for us. We also enjoyed having Colin & Geraldine with us from South Africa, their testimony was a great encouragement to us all.

We are looking forward with expectancy for our next event on the 17th May!

Corinth Youth Conference Report

This past Labor Day, May 1st, Hellenic Ministries was honored to be a part of the first Young Adults Conference in Corinth called "Me and the Lord, the Lord and Me." This awesome event served to mark the beginning of a new movement of Greek young adults who are hungry to get to know the Lord and change their nation.

Hellenic Ministries was represented by a team of 6 people who shared about ministries activities as well as from the Word of God under the theme “Intimacy with God and Fruitfulness” in one of the main preaching sessions. It was a great blessing to witness the small church building of the Apostolic Church of Christ being jam-packed with almost 150 Greek young adults who responded very positively to the call of drawing closer to God in order to impact a nation. The Lord anointed the whole day as all of the participants came out refreshed by the streams of God’s Word and challenged by an altar call to surrender everything to Christ and to embrace His cause in this ancient land.

Our team also had the chance of challenging the Greek youth about Operation Joshua, HM’s nationwide outreach that is happening this summer from the 25th of June to the 2nd of July in southern Greece. Amazing feedback was felt during the presentation and call to join OJ.

HM would like to thank the leadership of the Apostolic Church of Christ in Corinth for the opportunity to share God’s Word as well as God’s heart through our ministry activities. May this be the beginning of a new movement of unity among the Christian young adults in Greece. Please pray for the upcoming generation to catch a vision for the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“The Joy of the Lord is my Strength” HM Family Conference 2009

Mid April found almost all of the HM team gathered up at Porto Astro for a four-day annual conference. This was the first time we hosted this event out at the property and a great time was had by all.

God graced us with mild weather so that we were all able to remain warm enough in our unheated cabins and trailers. It rained a little a couple of the days, but nothing too drastic to keep us (abt 100 of us) inside all day.

A team of adults and high schoolers from Prairie Christian Academy in Canada came and blessed us by cooking, providing camp maintenance and childcare so we were able to enjoy our time together.

The days were filled with personal quiet times, study of Philippians led by guest speaker Jacques Teeuwen, ministry reports, corporate worship times, brainstorming sessions and fun game times together. We all came away refreshed and energized to begin the busy summer season of ministry.

No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. Ps 33:16-17. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Neh 8:10.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sandwiches and Spritual Talk

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

On Thursday afternoon, we hosted for a time for refugees to come and have a sandwich and discussion about spiritual matters. We were delighted that 16 Muslim men, mostly from Sudan, Jordan and Iraq, showed up. Matt began our time together by introducing himself and explaining why he was here in Greece.

He went on to explain that we wanted this to be a safe place to have spiritual discussions. And that we would respect each other as we talked openly about spiritual matters.

He read John 1:1-14 to them and asked them if any of them had ever read any Scripture. He also asked if any of them was interested in having his own Bible and all responded that they would like one. Then we asked them what they believed about Jesus and began a discussion about our different views on Jesus. We also collected questions from them for future discussions. Some of the questions are...Did Jesus really die, was He really crucified on the cross? What is the Bible, is it one book or many books? How can Jesus be the Son of God and God?

We served them sandwiches and then sat and ate lunch with them. They shared how difficult their lives were here in Greece; how some had felt led to come here and now realize how there is nothing for them here in Greece. They shared some of their frustrations about not being able to find work or food or purpose here. Many had the question “why? This led to a conversation about why bad things happen to good people. Some of the missionaries were also able to share about the lives they left behind in North America to come here to serve God.

The time passed quickly and we were encouraged by the dialogs that we were able to have. Please pray with us that God will use this new “lunch time” ministry to build friendships with these men and to share the love of Christ with them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Operation Joshua Scouting Trip & Divine Appointments

This week our Operation Joshua team was privileged to visit the Peloponnese to scout out the best location to base our distribution event this summer. The trip was successful in meeting this goal, but even more than that, God blessed us with encouraging divine appointments. I want to share the scriptures that spoke to our hearts through our encounters with these special individuals.

At the first campsite, the name of the lady we spoke with meant “freedom,” and we were able to pray with her and share the truth that will set her free (John 8:31-38):
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

We met and shouted “Hallelujah!” together with an African man from Ghana, which opened a connection for partnership with a local church in Messenia. He encouraged us with a beautiful scripture passage that compliments the previous one (Galatians 3:23-29):

“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

Our last stop was at the campsite that had been our top option from our previous visit. The most important thing about this place was the chance we had to share the Gospel with the owner who we met their previously. It was as if he was waiting for our fellowship, as he welcomed us to sit and have a Greek coffee with him. At this beautiful “city on a hill” location, our team prayed fervently as Ilias took the time to share the life-giving truth which brings us the joy that this man could so evidently see on our faces (Matthew 5:13-15):

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

Please join us in praying for these special connections that we made on our journey. I pray these scriptures have encouraged your hearts as they did ours. How special it is to be set free as sons and daughters in God’s family, no longer slaves, but heirs to the promise in Christ, and empowered to pierce the darkness of this world with the light of the truth of Christ! Meggan DeJong

A Date With God

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

I want to thank GOD for the chance that He gave me to have a wonderful trip on the MORNING STAR last weekend. I believe that the Lord wanted me to make this special trip but there was another who desired to stand in my way.

The first night was very difficult for me. The wind was blowing and the boat was rocking. I panicked as I felt the boat rolling from side to side. I was so afraid and just wanted to leave and get off the boat. Everyone else around me was trying to sleep and I just started to cry.

I was so desperate that I woke the captain and told him that I couldn’t continue with the trip and that I needed to go ashore. He explained to me that this would be difficult, as it would mean waking others who were sleeping to get me from the ship to the shore and that it was the middle of the night. He asked me to consider trying to manage until the morning.

I am so thankful for my best friend, Liza who stayed up with me and prayed with me all through the night.

The next morning came and we headed off for Limni with me still on board.! I believe that my fear and panic was an attack from the devil because he didn’t want me to experience the blessing that God had in store for me.

While in port the next morning, the captain asked us to go somewhere in the village and to spend some time with God. I took my bible and headed for the beach. It had an amazing view and was so peaceful. I opened my bible to Isaiah 41:8-13. As I read, I felt so small and started to cry. I also began to pray.

I understood that the Lord was there with me and that He was talking to me through His Word. I felt that He was on a date with me and wanted me to just be there, alone with Him. He had been waiting for a long time for me to come and to talk to Him. I felt just like Adam and Eve, walking and talking with the Lord on that beautiful beach. It was amazing.

I prayed and decided to put my trust in Him and to not be afraid anymore. He holds me in His hands and wants me to have faith in every sector of my life!!
I am so grateful for this experience on the Morning Star, for the new friends that I met and for the faithfulness of my friend Liza and the others who supported me through my fears. I am especially thankful for my Lord and for the intimate fellowship that we shared together.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"I Want to Serve"

Colossians 1:22-24 – “Obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.”

After House of Worship on Sunday night, I met David, who had found my “Pray for Greece!” facebook group and was interested in serving at love meals. I told him we would be happy to have his help, especially since we had anticipated being short-handed this week. He asked where and when and I told him to come back to the hall anytime the following afternoon. By the time he arrived the next day, we had already finished setting up, so we were all able to spend some time chatting with him and getting to know him better through fellowship and prayer.

As the night went on, he served with his “natural bouncer abilities” by standing at the door to welcome those eager to come in and he also participated in the dirty bathroom clean-up work afterwards – rubber gloves, mop, and all. We had to test his authentic willingness to serve with us, no matter what the job, right? ☺ He maintained his ready and willing attitude, and we expect he will return to serve with us again at future meals. We are always very blessed by the way God connects His family together through prayer and service.

Greek Missionaries Head for Sri Lanka!

Jesus told us… GO, and make disciples of all nations... baptize and teach all that I have commanded you. Invite them into this way of life. I will be with you as you do this, day after day after day...until the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to the airport and "see off" a Greek missionary couple on their way to Sri Lanka. It was such a blessing to chat with Ritza and Michalis and to reminisce about the special send off my church family gave me right before I came to Greece, just a short time ago. Ritza and I encouraged one another with a hug and the simple gift of mutual understanding for what this "packing up, leaving home, and saying good-bye" stuff feels like.

This was an extra special moment for all of those gathered at the Athens airport, because it is not exactly common or popular for Greeks to leave for a long-term mission service assignment. Praise the Lord for the supportive parents and church family of Ritza and Michalis! In fact, my fellow HM staff explained to me that the last family who did this was our founder, Costas Macris, and his wife Alky. Alky was among those of us gathered to send off Ritza and Michalis with prayers and blessings, and needless to say it was an emotional time.

Johnathan, Costas and Alky's son and the current president of HM, shared a vision of hoping to wear out the path to the airport in order to send off more and more Greek missionaries to serve God all over the world.

This couple had actually met and been encouraged towards missions during their participation in a summer sports camp out at HM's waterfront property, Porto Astro. I pray God will continue to use this blessed location to disciple and mentor the Greek young people towards mission!

Meggan DeJong

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Divine Appointment or Coincidence?

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season…2 Tim 4:2

Last weekend I was invited along with a couple co-workers to give a presentation at a local church in Lamia, a city 2 hrs. north of Athens. God really blessed our time there and the next morning we were invited to go for coffee with the pastor and some of the youth of the church. We strolled together down the coast to a small village.

To my surprise we came upon a small marina with a few boats. Very naturally, I gravitated towards the port and dragged the whole team with me. As we stopped to look at one on the sailboats, a man popped his head out from inside. Immediately, I sensed that I had met this man before and so I asked him if he had ever taught at a particular sailing school in Athens. He said yes and I proceeded to tell him that I was a student of his there in 1987! Then he invited us all on board for a coffee. As we visited, I had the chance to share with him the work that I do with the Morning Star, HM’s sailboat.

Later that morning the pastor and the youth and I talked about the importance of our testimony. One never knows who God is going to bring across his path and when He does, will he see the same risen Lord in your life as he did the last time he met you? This was a challenge to my heart.

I thank God for these “divine appointments” and I do not believe at all that these are coincidences.

Alex Macris
Skipper - S/Y Morning Star
Hellenic Ministries – Maritime

Morning Star News

More than the sounds of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, The Lord on high is mighty!(Ps 93:4)

The month of February was very exciting and significant for the maritime ministry. At the beginning of the month, I was able to go to Sweden to attend the annual Skipper's Conference. The theme this year was “Walking on Water” and the speaker who challenged us daily from the Word of God, was my brother, Johnathan Macris. The purpose of the conference was for various boat ministries to come together and share with each other the work that God did in their ministry throughout the year. Many new boat ministries attended and were blessed. Collectively, we have a vision to continue growing the momentum so that many will hear the “Good News” through the use of boats. Next year this conference will take place in April at HM's seaside property Porto Astro. Please keep praying that God will continue blessing through these conferences.

Later in the month, we had another meeting, but this time in Zuidlaren, Holland. Truly for HM's Maritime Ministry this gathering of believers was historic. Since 1987, the 53 ft. staysail schooner, Morning Star, has been serving the needs of people amongst the coastal ports and islands of Greece. But now we believe that God has placed in our hearts another chapter in which more boats will join this ministry to Greece and beyond. Therefore, we felt the need to start an international council for HM’s Maritime Ministry. Our goal is to meet annually to seek God and His direction on how to move forward and to enlarge our circle of influence in order to spread the vision.

Personally, I am very encouraged about this new step in our journey of faith and am excited to see how God will piece it all together.

Alex Macris
Skipper - S/Y Morning Star
Hellenic Ministries – Maritime

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

God's Faithfulness to the House of Teeuwen

I’ve been reading through Joshua lately and this past week was trying to work my way through the passages about the Israelites dividing up the land. I must admit I was praying hard about what the Lord wanted me to see in these passages because they were moving a bit slow! At the end of Chapter 21 as I was about to close I came upon, “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.”

I thought to myself, “Wow, what a special verse. Not one failed. I need to apply this to my own life.” As I began to meditate on the verse the Enemy began to whisper the fear I’ve struggled with since moving to Greece. “Why would anyone want to support you here? It isn’t third-world Albania, nor is it war torn Kosovo. It is the nice country of Greece. I began to pray that God would take away this fear and that I would be able to claim this verse in my own life.

About 5 minutes later I went to check my emails. The first one I read was from a friend who said she and her husband would like to start supporting us. I sat there at the computer and cried tears of joy. Not 5 minutes after I had claimed that verse for myself, the Lord was showing me that none of His promises to “the house of Teeuwen,” my house, would fail.” He is faithful even when we need reminders to see it!

Additionally, this week we celebrated our son’s 13th birthday. We had been discussing having a party with a couple of his friends and Philip had expressed the idea of going rock climbing or playing paint ball. After checking into the prices, I realized that both were probably not something that we could do. I felt very bad telling him this and later challenged him to take his request to God. I explained that God doesn’t always give us what we want but that He does tell us to pray about everything and let our requests be known to Him. Philip responded well even though I know he was disappointed. A few days later a friend called to offer me tickets to a climbing park at half price! I couldn’t believe it, as I had never mentioned anything to him about wanting tickets to the park. I knew that this was an answer to Philip’s and my prayers. What an incredible birthday gift this was for Philip, not just the trip to the park but the personal lesson from God. That He does hear and answer prayers and that He is not just the God of Mom and Dad but of Philip too! We all had an incredible day at the climbing park and reveling in God’s faithfulness to us all. Alecia Teeuwen.

Another Family Reunited!

Recently, Hamza, the other Albanian who has been living and working at Porto Astro for the last seven years, was granted permission to bring his wife and sons to live with him here in Greece. This is the last of the refugees who are employed by HM to have his family reunited! We rejoice to see Hamza’s, Aurturo’s and Akbar’s families living together again after so many painful years of separation.
Hamza brought his wife Maria and his two sons, Elton, 14, and Zudi, 12, home to Greece in mid February. They join Aurturo and his wife and son who also live out at the property. It was with incredible joy that we saw this family reunited. Some of the HMers have dreamed of this day for many, many years. In fact, this was a dream of the late Costas Macris; for Hamza and Aurturo to be able to bring their families to Greece.
Please pray for Maria and the boys in this transition period. They left behind life in a two-story house in a big city with lots of relatives near by to begin living in trailers on a remote location without most of the conveniences of a city. The boys will also have to integrate into the Greek school system. Elton was the top student in his class in Albania and will miss the stimulus of school until they are able to get the paperwork sorted out and the boys in school, hopefully by the fall. Additionally, in their 16-year marriage, Hamza and Maria have never lived together for longer than a short period of time.
So amidst the joys of reunion there will also be challenges. Please remember to keep them in your prayers. For now, we are rejoicing in God’s goodness in bringing this family together again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ferraris or Bibles?

The other day I went shopping for a second hand car with one of our new team members. As I walked through the lot and into the office I saw a brand new red Ferrari! The sales manager came up to me and said, “How can I help you?” I answered, “How much is this Ferrari?” He quickly replied, “125,000 Euros.” I asked my teammate if he desired to pay in cash or by check? After this momentary joke, I asked the salesman if he had anything around really cheap for my friend. As he was looking up his inventory on his computer, I kept glancing back at that beautiful car.

Reflecting on the its price brought to mind the money that we, as a small mission, have spent in handing out New Testaments to houses on 80 Greek islands and to a large portion of Southern Greece throughout the last few years. By faith, God has provided for us the 350,000 euros that is has cost just for the printing of the Bibles. When we add in the expense of the outreaches themselves, our costs were probably closer to 500,000 euros. We are so grateful for God’s provision as we did all of this without taking out a loan or incurring any outstanding debt.

As I continued to look at that shiny red car, I thought to myself we could have bought 4 of those cars with that money.

What has greater value, the Word of God in 120,000 homes or 4 Ferraris?

So much joy filled my heart as I began to realize how blessed we are to be able to value things rightly because of our perspective of eternity.
It is foolishness to the world but highly valued to us as we participate in God’s kingdom building.

Please continue to pray for us as we have a lot to do and the Lord is coming back soon!

Scouting for a perfect campsite - Operation Joshua 2

On Saturday, January 24, 2009, some of our staff took off before sunrise to search for the perfect campsite for Operation Joshua 2 taking place this summer (25 June to 2 July 2009). We drove to the next area of the Peloponnese to be blanketed with Greek New Testaments. First stop: Kalamata, Messenia. While searching for the ideal campsite proved challenging, it was definitely less difficult than navigating the numerous one-way streets of Kalamata! We’ve already begun praying for extra patience and wisdom on the day when our distribution teams will join forces to put the Word of God’s life-giving truth into the hands of this city’s residents.

As the day progressed, the team visited several campsites along the sea that were either too small or too filled with trees to accommodate our event needs. With nothing promising near Kalamata, we drove to the opposite side of our targeted bay area in search of the few other campsite options we had pinpointed on the map. After a couple more unfortunate dead ends, God led us to a hopeful possibility. The potential site is located on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the nearby sea and mountains. It offers great options for our cooking and program needs, and most importantly, the team developed a friendly relationship with the camp owner.
Not only did God bless our day with a great campsite location, but our trip was also filled with fun fellowship and lots of laughter - especially during a couple of the most unique events, including two of us getting soaked in a downpour at the most inconvenient time, and our final stop resulting in a backseat full of freshly picked oranges.

Praise God for safety on the roads and divine appointments with campsite owners. Please pray that God fills us with wisdom as we continue to work through the details to accomplish this Bible distribution vision. To God, and God alone, be the glory!

House of Worship

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. “ John 4:23-24

At the last House of Worship, I was really blessed when a young man from the music band told us the serious health problem his sister faces. Despite the fact that he had just learned about this the day before, he glorified God by worshiping and thanking Him. This fact blessed me so much because it reminded me what God says in his Word: that we should glorify Him through the difficulties as well as when things are going as we want. When He is our shelter, we can face and handle every difficulty and attack from the enemy.

I was extremely blessed by the last weekend’s House of Worship.
The sweet presence of the Lord was evident as people’s hearts were touched by what was shared and by the music that was presented to the Lord as an offering.
I was especially encouraged by the time that we spent together as a team before the gathering. We had a wonderful time of sharing from the Word and then two team members shared about the journey the Lord is leading them on at this particular time in their lives.
During the program we heard a report from the team that went on a missions trip to Uganda last summer. They shared about the experiences on their trip and encouraged their peers to go with them next summer. For years HM has been trying to get Greeks interested in missions and now, all of a sudden, we have Greeks telling their peers to go. Praise the Lord for this wonderful new development!
I was also greatly encouraged after the event, when I was able to share HM’s vision of internet radio with several Greek men and women. For the first time in a long time, young Greeks are expressing a real desire to be part of such a ministry. Please pray for dedicated young people who will commit to working towards this new, very important, ministry.

House of Worship: Let it Rain…
On Sunday afternoon, January 25, 2009, I made my way downtown to the Hall for our special House of Worship event. As I was walking, I put my slick coat and umbrella to good use and hummed the song “Let it Rain” to myself for obvious reasons. This chorus became very meaningful to me as the day continued on.
There was fervent prayer for the new, out of the ordinary timing for a House of Worship gathering. Help your children know that worship is all of life, God. Let an awesome sense of communion and fellowship rain down on your family of believers.
There were passionate prayers of healing for a dear sister who recently learned of her cancer diagnosis. Let your healing power rain down on your daughter, Lord God, so that her healthy life will bring glory to Your Name.
There was a variety of music offered up by those You have blessed with amazing talent, God. Let the beautiful melodies reign in our hearts all week long, uniting and harmonizing our souls together with a sense of peace found only in You.
There were servant hands and feet moving all over the place to help set up, serve food, clean up, and ensure the highest quality of musical sound. Dear God, let your pleasure in the selfless work of your children rain down a sense of joy in their hearts for the opportunity to be blessed in giving of themselves.
Thank you, God, for letting it rain – for opening the floodgates of heaven and pouring out your love, mercy, joy and peace on the hearts of your children. Now open the floodgates of heaven over all of Greece, Lord, and let your life-giving truth reign in every heart.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feb 09 Update

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

We are excited to introduce you to some new members of our HM team.
Andrew and Alecia, Philip (12), Susannah (11), Nathanael (9) and Esther (7) come to us seconded from PIONEERS. They have been serving in missions for over 13 years, 7 in Albania and 6 in Kosovo.

Andrew & Alecia T. moved to Greece in mid December 2008. They had quite an unusual welcome to this country as they found the truck driver they had hired to bring their household belongings from Kosovo had decided to unload all their possessions alongside of the National Road in Athens. It was something of a shock for them to find all their boxes, beds and wardrobes strewn out over about 50 meters of sidewalk along the busy road where cars were zooming by. After 7 hours of shuttling back and forth from the highway to the warehouse storage, and with the help of several team members with strong backs and younger “guards” posted to keep looters away, they finally secured all their goods. As they dropped into bed, long after midnight, they thought, if this is our first day in Athens, we’re in for an exciting time!

Cherith L. joined us early in January to serve as Johanthan’s personal assistant for six months. She is the granddaughter of one of our HM USA board members, and comes to us from the state of Texas. Cherith is following a call to Greece that came to her in a dream a couple of months ago when she heard God tell her to “go to Greece.” We are all thrilled to have Cherith here helping our president in his very busy day-to-day schedule.

Meggan D. first came to Greece in June of 2008 as part of a summer mission team. She felt right at home here from the start and after spending the summer with us and then traveling with our team to China for Operation Gideon 3, she returned to the States in order to raise support to come back and serve with HM again. Meggan arrived ready to go, mid January, and she will be helping co-coordinate Operation Joshua 2, our continuing project to present a New Testament to every home in mainland Greece.