Dear Family of Friends,
The place for the comforter is not that of one who preaches, but of the comrade who says nothing, but prays to God about the matter. The biggest thing you can do for those who are suffering is not to talk platitudes, not to ask questions, but to get into contact with God, and the “greater works” will be done by prayer (see John 14:12–13). OSWALD CHAMBERS
In a strange way it’s been a joy relating to local churches and to refugees. Several pastors have shared with us the desire for greater unity but have found it difficult. We need to pray for this.
In the case of the refugees: We know that winter is coming and the flow of people doesn’t appear to be lessening. The sea has become harder to cross but the smugglers are offering lower rates for the dangerous crossings. The European community does not know what to do. Countries are beginning to be at odds with each other and some already closing their boarders. There is a good possibility that many refugees could be stuck in Greece. That could be good and bad.
The Greek people are mixed in their emotions about this. On one hand they have pity and are showing compassion; on the other hand they are living in a country that has already suffered huge economic set backs and many Greeks are also hungry, worried, and hopeless. One woman said, “Greeks are depressed.” They are also disillusioned with their political leaders. This could all be leading toward a “great leader”, may it be the Lord and not the antichrist.
People are getting saved. Demetrius and Sophia are pastor / evangelists and have seen dozens of people come into the Kingdom this year.
The Bigger Picture
Since leaving on this trip the idea of a “drop in the ocean” has been stated again and again. The problems of humanity are too big for one ministry, one church or one person to solve. I have come up with a new thought regarding “The Pixel Perfect Church.” “A pixel is generally thought of as the smallest single component of a digital image.” Every pixel has a different color or hue and when connected to others portrays an image. We all are the image of Christ so we need to come together across the globe to display the person of Christ to the world in these troubled times. We need to show them the bigger picture.
There is a very good possibility of developing a place of prayer here in Athens. Like many other places the Lord has already planted the vision and people have been praying. One couple, George and Eva, have had the vision for a number of years and do several sets each week. My suggestion was to plan a 24/7 house of prayer to last one-month, opening the doors to many from around the world, to seek the Lord for this place at this time. It could be similar to what we did in 2006 and 2007 in the Campo de Gibraltar. Those who come could be trained and then dedicated to do 2-4 hours of worship and prayer each day in addition to 2-4 hours of outreach among the refugee community.
The Greater Need:
We can thank the Lord that many individuals and groups have already responded and many of them are Christian based. I imagine there needs to be connectivity in the body of Christ all along the road the refugees take going right into the places where the eventually settle down. Pray for massive coordination of this, perhaps that there would be houses of prayer in each place with ministry bases closely associated.
“Crisis creates concerned creative compassionate cooperation… or causes chaos!”
- Unity, healing and wholeness of the church in Athens.(John 17)
Continued grace and favor along with God’s wisdom.
Connection of believers across the area and a strategy from the “Excellent Strategist.” (Isaiah 9 He shoulders responsibility and is called:Extraordinary Strategist,)
The establishment of a house of prayer in Athens. (Amos 9:11)
The manifestation of God’s power in word and deed for the proclamation of the Gospel. (Acts 4)
Power to comprehend God’s love (Ephesians 3)
For the Lord of the harvest,
Norman J. P.
These links are short recording of some of the leaders we have talked to here in Athens. I think you enjoy and appreciate hearing what they have to say.
The port of Pireas
Children from Afghanistan
A father and child from Afghanistan