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