Athens – Larissa

For me, it was hard not to compare this mission trip to my experience last year in Haiti. But I am so glad that one of the points our team emphasized before we left to go to Greece was to have no expectations. That really helped me adjust to ministering and serving while in Athens.

One thing that really had an impact on me was serving the hundreds of Muslim refugees from various Middle Eastern countries. We partnered with two ministries, Helping Hands and Hellenic Ministries in serving dinner, tea, and conversing with these precious people. So often I have taken for granted the freedom of living in the U.S. and what God has blessed me with. Having the opportunity to serve and show God’s love to a people who have experienced discouragement and prejudice daily while living in a place far from their home really impacted me and made me thankful for the blessings that I often overlook in my life.

Another opportunity that we had that really had an impact on me was being able to pray and minister in the ‘red-light’ and brothel distict of Athens. While walking along the trodden-down streets of this area of Greece, it almost seemed like it could have been any other part of the city. However, seeing the plethora of lighted doorways that signified that this entryway was the way to gain access into a brothel was surreal. While watching many men go from door to door, either on their lunch breaks from work, or just because, it was hard not to experience anger towards these men. But I had to take a step back and realize that prostitution and brothels are legal in Greece, and these men have been brought up in a different culture and mentality than mine. God has definitely placed a burden on my heart to pray for the girls that are either trafficked victims held in these brothels against their will, as well as then men that are their customers.

Lastly, this trip gave me a whole new appreciation for what it means to plant a church, especially in an area that is thousands of miles away from your homeland, family, friends. Pastors Darren &Katie, Mickey and Tracy– May God continue to give you strength daily as you walk out His calling on your lives. I know that the impact you are having and the mighty impact that God is going to use you all for is so going to be worth it!! Keep fighting the good fight of faith!! You are in my continued prayers… šŸ™‚
In Christ,
Larissa

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~ by Celebration Missions on May 9, 2011.

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