Our summer is off to a running start and has already been quite busy. In June we had the privilege of serving at a family refugee camp hosted by Hellenic Ministries, Helping Hands and the Oasis at the Hellenic camp a couple hours outside of Athens by the sea. I (Frank) have been involved in a series of planning meetings with various pastors and leaders working in Greece in preparation for the inductive Bible study seminar we are hosting in October with Dan Finfrock of Intensive Care Ministries. In addition to this I’ve begun working together with leaders from refugee ministries in Athens to plan out a new discipleship program that has been on all of our hearts for some time now, and is continuing to co-teach the Seekers Bible Study at Helping Hands. Suzie concluded her women’s Bible study and has met with the other leaders in order to plan next year’s study of the gospel of Matthew. She is also serving on Wednesdays at Helping Hands with their women’s shower and meal ministry. She has had new opportunities to meet and get to know many women, teach English, and befriend a specific young lady named Samira. In this update we will give you some details on some of the above mentioned activities, share about some up and coming things as well as some praise reports and prayer requests. Hope you enjoy.
Refugee Family Camp: Suzie and I were not sure what to expect at this camp and were completely amazed by all that God did! It was an incredible experience to see this group of people who literally have nothing and live in a nation that abuses them, get away for a week and experience the unconditional love of God displayed through the hands of His people. Throughout the week we witnessed them have FUN like most of them have never had before, respond to us with gratitude and amazement because of the way they were being served. They slowly opened up to the truth of the gospel message as we shared the Word in large and small groups as well as on an individual basis. At the end of the week we even had the privilege of witnessing two of them be baptized in front of all of their peers. It is a huge step for a muslim to come to faith in Christ as it will cost them much and potentially their lives. Another amazing thing we witnessed was an incredible spirit of unity among the staff who all came from different Christian ministries, both from Athens and from various parts of the world. It was really a God moment stretched out over a week. We even had the pleasure of working alongside our fellow Calvary Chapelite Donna who is also a CCCM missionary 🙂 We have added more pictures of the camp in our Photo Book section, but to view them see instructions on how to view at the bottom of the newsletter under “note”. Make sure you don’t skip the rest of this newsletter just to get to the pics 🙂
Inductive Bible Study Training Seminar: Things are moving along well as we are continuing to plan and prep for this event. I’ve submitted the training manual provided by Intensive Care Ministries for translation into modern Greek, have gotten several pastors and leaders desiring to participate and help and are currently working on a location for the event. There are several more things to do and we are hoping to have it all done by the end of this month. As a reminder this training will be given to instruct pastors and church leaders how to effectively study the Bible and to teach it verse by verse to their congregations. It will also equip them to teach this method of study to others in their own churches. We are focusing on a wide variety of foreign and Greek churches in Athens. This event will be hosted by us, Calvary Chapel Hellas Ministries and will be funded by our ministry. Our plans are to make it totally free to those who attend because most of them would not be able to afford even a nominal fee. The expenses we will need to cover will be material costs, food, location, and translator fees for the manuel and the live translation into Greek, Farsi, and Urdu. I do not have a complete budget as of yet but hope to within the next week or so. If you or your church is interested in financially supporting this event, Newport Coast Lighthouse (a CC affiliate) in Newport Beach, California will be setting up a special fund for us. Please contact us at our ministry email, email@example.com if you are interested for further information.
Discipleship of Refugee Believers: Since our involvement with the refugee ministries here in Athens began about a year and a half ago there has been a growing and noticeable need to begin an intentional uniform discipleship effort for those who have been coming to faith in Christ. This week I met with leaders of the various refugee ministries in town in order to begin moving forward with this great need. We will have the first of several initial meetings planned for the summer beginning this Thursday. Please keep this developing program in prayer. We’ll give more details as they come.
Our friend Sahar: We’d like to announce that baby Fiona has made her way out a bit early at 30 weeks! Suzie and I have been going to see Sahar weekly in the hospital but now she is home resting. Baby Fiona will remain in the hospital in NICU #1, she weighs 1.4k and breathing with help from C-PAP (a machine that helps open the lungs wider). They will not move her to NICU #2 until she can fully breath on her own without the C-PAP machine and gets to 1.5k, but it is looking good! She has been gaining weight and eating though we were worried a bit in the beginning because she is so premature. Sahar and her husband Arno are able to go to the hospital for scheduled visits twice a day to see Fiona. We are beginning to rotate with a few others to drive Sahar each week so Arno does not have to take as much time off of work.
God has been doing some amazing things through Sahar and Arno’s ministry here in Greece. Sahar being from Iran and coming to Greece over 13 years ago as a refugee gives her experience and many opportunities to minister to her own people that are waiting in transit here in Athens. She has the sweetest testimony of God bringing her here to Greece, meeting Arno who is Dutch and then God using them together to serve the people here in Athens. It has been a pleasure getting to know her after being introduced to her by our good friends, the Dirrims and it’s been a blessing serving with her in different ways this past year and a half since we met. Please continue to pray for her and Fiona as well as Arno, their other two daughters, and Sahar’s parents who have been managing so much of the home and taking care of the kids during this time. The family is tired but God has been their strength! If you’d like to send Sahar a note of encouragement or know more about how you can pray for her, please contact us as we see her very regularly throughout the week. Thanks again for standing in the gap with our friends Sahar & Arno.
Visitors & Guests: Once again we have our good friends Patrick & Ivetka Higgins and their two boys coming to visit at the end of July. Partrick is a CC pastor in Bratislava, Slovakia and is pastoring City Light Church. We are looking forward to their visit which is the kick off to our time of refreshment. We are getting away with them and seeing a little bit of Greece and then Suzie and I are heading to the CC Missions conference in Austria. We also have a missionary couple from Applegate Christian Fellowship coming to visit, Greg & Bev Enright serving in Israel. Our friends Don & Marta Patten who serve in Israel as well, told them about Suzie & I serving here and that their was a CC work going on in Athens. More and more the Lord has been giving us natural doors to connect with various Calvary Chapel missionaries passing through or visiting Greece. We are so blessed to meet new missionaries and hear what God is doing in other parts of the world through Calvary Chapel! Greece is really a crossroad of the world much as it was in ancient times.
Austria Missions Conference: After attending last year for the 3rd time since we have been on the field Suzie and I realized how important it is for us to attend this conference every year. With that we began to pray and ask the Lord to make a way for us to go regularly, well God provided again. It is always difficult to plan for this financially so we always sign up in faith and pray for the Lord to come through. This year we will be traveling early in order to spend a few days in Italy (we were blessed with a place to stay) before the conference as well as a short side trip to England to visit our friends, Bob & Jeanne Claycamp in Exeter. Bob recently stepped in as the pastor of CC Exeter. We are looking forward to this time away and feel like we need the refreshment.
Replacing the Green Machine: Many of you know that we have fervently been praying for a new car and we know you have been praying along with us. Our car is 16 years old and weakening. It still runs and we praise God for that but it’s age is catching up with it and we can’t justify sinking money into it. We have not been financially able to save for one as our budget normally is extremely tight. For us God has always provided for the needs of the moment, especially with the larger needs that pop up. Recently we have come across a car that we are interested in at a local dealer. It is a 2005 Toyota Prius Hybrid for about 7000€ which translates to about $9200. This is the first time we have come across a car that we are actually interested in for several reasons. It is extremely economical, fuel efficient, much cheaper to insure, falls under a very very low tax bracket here in Greece and is good for city driving. In the long and short run this car will save us a great deal of money. We thought it would be good to share about this need with you and ask you to pray about helping if the Lord leads you. If this car falls through then we are going to continue looking for this make and model as we feel this is the right car for us. We know God will provide in His way and timing and we will make an effort to save toward it as we are able.
NOTE: We have included a photo gallery of the camp, however it’s password protected. To view it click here and please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the password which we will give out at our discretion. In addition to the photo gallery we are adding this link to a news story on CBS that covers the difficulty that Afghani and Iranian people have trying to get to a better life. Click here to watch it, it’s an eye opener! Please read prayer below 🙂
If you’d like to see our most recent prayer needs please visit our “Partner thru Prayer” page or click here.
If you are a church or an individual and would like to learn about partnering with us financially with either a one time gift or regular monthly support you can visit our “Becoming A Sender” page or click here.
Thank you for standing in the gap with us!
Frank & Suzie