Monday, March 15, 2010

Spiritual Fruit in the North!

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

Exciting things are happening in the small church pastored by one of our Greek nationals, Haris Gantes, in a small church in Northern Greece. 8 new believers have been baptized within the last six months!

While this new growth spurt is the result of one girl getting saved and telling another and another and another, it is also the result of many years of faithfully planting spiritual seeds in this area by Haris and before him by another HM Greek national missionary, Panagiotis.

Haris truly has a pastor’s heart and is leading the way in evangelizing and training up new believers. He meets for two hours every day with serious disciples in order to instruct them in the Word of God.

In addition, it is exciting to watch God unveil His plans for this church as He is already raising up leaders within the new believers. One man clearly has the gift of evangelism and he is going out with two to three others, visiting in people’s homes to share the gospel with them. They even video these sessions so that Haris can coach them when he is not available to go out with the team. Multiplication is happening on the initiative of the new believers and beyond Haris’ time and availability.

Additionally, Saturday mornings children’s Sunday school programs are held, organized and hosted by the new believers in their houses. After the spiritual lessons, the children are helped with their schoolwork. The Greeks are also tutoring the non-Greeks in language learning.

Church is held Sunday morning and Thursday evenings in a remote location that is 25 minutes out of town. Please pray for God to provide them with a church in town.

Haris also writes and publishes an evangelistic magazine twice a year that he hand delivers to about 5,000 businesses and neighbors.

Please continue to pray for Haris and his family and their church, that God will continue to work mightily in their midst.

Please also pray for these new believers and the challenges they face as they begin to live their lives as new creations in Christ.

God’s Heart for Missions and the Islands!

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Rom 10:14
One of our missionaries just recently returned from a trip to Larissa and the islands of Alonissos and Skorpelos, where God is at work in a big way.

In Larissa, Karin was following up with three young Greek girls who had accompanied her on a missions trip to Uganda in 2009. She was delighted to meet the parents of the girls and to further challenge the girls missionally. One of the girls agreed to fast and pray for 7 days to seek God’s will for her future.

Karin and a pastor and his wife then traveled on the islands to organize a Greek home fellowship there. They were able to connect with believers as they visited in their homes, and prayed and studied the Word of God together. While they were there, God laid a burden for island ministry on the pastor and his wife. There is a huge need to connect the isolated believers on the islands for fellowship, teaching and evangelism.

Please pray for God to continue to lead Greeks into missions and island ministry.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Praising the Lord for His Protection!

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

We are rejoicing in the Lord for His continued protection over us as we minister to hundreds of refugees each week at Evripidou Hall in downtown Athens. Often times circumstances have driven these people to feel quite hopeless and they are not afraid to take desperate measures to get what they want or to express the frustration they are feeling.

One a recent Monday evening when the hall was packed with about 200 refugee men and families, a fight broke out at one of the tables. One of the men grabbed another, punches were exchanged, chairs went flying and one man banged the other’s head against the glass window. The window shattered and glass fell in pieces down 7 floors onto the sidewalk and the street.

The fight was broken up and thankfully no one was hurt. Our staff sat together with the men and repentance and reconciliation occurred followed by a time of prayer and singing.

We are also so grateful that no one was injured by the falling glass on the sidewalk below.

The five large windows in the hall have now all been replaced with shatterproof glass and we are praising God that He kept so many from any harm that night. We continue to trust Him as our shield and our protector!

Please continue to pray with us for God to provide the €2,400 needed for the replacement windows.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel

As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15

Over the past weekend I had the privilege of traveling to northern Greece to visit two of our national workers. As I drove from home to home visiting people with one of them, I began to notice a common element to all the stories. I would ask Ilias, "Where did you meet this person, and where did you meet that one?" The answer was always the same "I met them while I was preaching on the train." Over the course of 2 days and many stories I had a profound respect for the power of the gospel.

At last we came to the home of the other national worker, Harris. He is pastor of a small church fellowship and over the past few months, a whole family and two other individuals have become believers. Harris did not preach to them on the train, but day in and day out faithfully lived out his faith in that community. It was the love of God in the life of Harris that drew these people. It was the love of God in Harris that I saw gently caring for those entrusted into his care.

What I saw in Ilias and Harris were beautiful feet each using unique gifts. I will leave you with the last verse of the song "Beautiful feet" by Lecrae. My prayer is the same as his.

“I pray that more would be burdened to have beautiful feet
you never knew the streets but truth is what you preach
I pray to God you'd be burdened for beautiful feet
Go, go, go (run with those beautiful feet).”

Heath Meikle