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.