Piraeus is the single largest port city in all of Greece. Some 20 million people annually travel by sea in, out, and around Greece via Pireaus. Many tourists want to visit and stay on one or more of Greece’s famous Isles/Islands (which number over 6000). In addition to the tourists, the port area also has thousands of refugees and immigrants who desire to settle in Northern Europe, encamped throughout the area.
All of that is happening on one shore of Pireaus and on the opposite shore is a very large marina for commercial fishing and pleasure boats (think Onassis’ yacht). Our host church, the Greek Evangelical Church of Pireaus is located at the top of the grade/hill that sits between the port and the marina.
Our short ministry time here has consisted of two emphasis. In the morning’s we’ve been assisting with the Church’s Mercy Center which provides food, clothing, clothes washing, showers, and haircuts for the refugees, new immigrants, and other homeless people. Because of the extreme heat, in the afternoons we’ve been doing our quiet times, d-group times, napping (the heat depletes our energy and extra sleep is a necessity), doing our laundry, showering, having a few minutes to organize, shop or whatever, etc.
In the evenings, once the temps drop down into the upper 80’s, we go down to the marina area where thousands gather for relaxation. There we use our dramas, dances, and balloon animal/sword making as a way to show the love of Christ and engage people in conversation. We pray and look for opportunities to share our faith, but they are rare.
Ministry is hard and slow in this culture! Planting seeds and simply exposing people here to others (us) who personally love and serve Jesus is a vital work. The vast majority of those who live here will never in their lifetime personally meet someone who has a genuine faith in, and love for, Jesus! Cold, impersonal, works-centered religion is the only type of Christianity that the vast majority know. Think of that! It breaks our hearts!
We have been getting back from our “street ministry” at around 10-10:30pm and then it’s off to bed for 8 hours of much needed sleep!
Tomorrow we’ll hike to the metro, ride, switch lines, and arrive at the train station where we will travel by train to Thessaloniki. From there we’ll leave Greece and travel by bus for 2-3 hours up to Skopje, (pronounced “Skoe’-pee-ah,) Northern Macedonia.
We will miss Greece (except for the immense heat (-:) But are excited to see what God has planned to do in and through us there! Please keep praying for us! This NOT a vacation, it’s hard, challenging, stretching, ministry and personal growth…for our good and God’s glory!
For the Greece Team,
We’re having a good morning, hope you are too:
Cora celebrates her birthday!