Greetings from Athens,
Several of our friends and supporters have asked us about the situation here in Greece, in light of the intensifying economic crisis. I am sure you are all pretty up to date on details, as the various news channels have been filling the airwaves with moment-by-moment coverage, i.e. failed negotiations, mad bank runs, bank closures, angry bureaucrats, protesting people, etc. Typically with things like this, especially in Greece, there is an anticipated degree of exaggeration and hype on the media’s end that make the situation look far worse than it actually is. Well in this case I have to say that they are reporting pretty accurately as there is no need for added drama to sell the story. The situation genuinely has the potential of being quite dire if a solution is not found.
As reported in the news, the Greek government has called for a referendum vote on Sunday. The subject of the vote is a seemingly simple Nai (yes) or Oxi (no) vote. A YES vote is an agreement to continue accepting the austerity measures that are mandatory for future bailout loans, whereas a NO vote is a rejection of the austerity measures that most believe will ultimately lead to Greece’s exit from the Eurozone (the 19 countries sharing the single euro currency). The reality behind this seemingly simple vote is a great complexity of diverse opinions. In short, the country is extremely divided. Not only is there division between the YES and NO votes, but there is division within the YES and NO camps as well. The Prime Minister himself is sending mixed signals regarding his own position that looks a lot like political posturing and manipulation. All of this to say that there is no easy way forward. Votes in either direction will have their long-term ramifications that will be felt by the people, especially when there is such opposition between sides.
Since this most recent turbulence began on Saturday, Suzie and I have noticed that things are running pretty normally for the most part. People are in the cafes and restaurants still and about their daily business. But the reality of the situation is beginning to come to the surface more as time goes on. Today I learned that some food and fuel shortages have begun. Because of cash shortages some stores and gas stations are unable to restock their supplies, truck drivers have been unable to buy fuel and make their deliveries and so food is being left to rot. This could all change for the better in just a few days, or, depending on the vote, it could become much worse and even lead into a humanitarian crisis.
With all of this we ask that people pray! Pray mostly that God would use these hard times to open people’s hearts to the gospel, pray also for divine appointments to be witnesses, and that God would show mercy to this nation and protect it from greater trouble.
On a happier note, we successfully delivered two stacks of the evangelistic CD our ministry produced, “How Can An Man Be Born Again” to the local Christian bookstore in Athens as well as to one of the local Greek evangelical churches. The CD contains a short message from Chuck Smith from John 3, and two worship songs from Scott Cunningham, all translated and recorded in the Greek language. The CD is intended for use as a tool for sharing the gospel with non-believers.
Along with the above-mentioned prayer needs please take a minute to pray for the following needs:
GREECE: Pray for God to use these troubled times to open hearts to Christ, for the people of the nation to vote wisely on Sunday’s referendum, for the leaders to act responsibly and with integrity, for great mercy for the people of this land, for the church to be a witness and comfort to the hurting.
GERMAN PASSPORT: Praying for Suzie’s permanent passport with her married name to arrive soon. We would prefer using it to register for residency in the EU.
DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT: Suzie is having some nerve issues that are related to her surgery. We are flying up to Thessaloniki to see her surgeon again for CT and MRI on Tuesday July 7. Please pray for the doctor to see the issues and make the best call. We are not sure if she will need another surgery on her back but we are praying not.
NEW SEEKERS CLASS: God to guide Kenn and I as we plan for this new class and that many would come to faith through it!
FRIDAY NIGHT FARSI BIBLE STUDY: God’s continued blessing on this group, wisdom for Arno and Sahar as they lead it, open hearts to hear the word as Arno teaches through Galatians. We’re blessed to be able to encourage and support them in their efforts!
OCTOBER MEDICAL OUTREACH: CC Kaiserslautern in Germany will be bringing a 7 man team to minister with us and others we serve with. The dates are now set for October 5-9 and we are taking the summer to plan with our friend Arno & Sahar, their ministry and two other ministries that will be involved. Please pray for the planning of this 5 day event and God’s hand on it all!!
“WHY GRACE CHANGES EVERYTHING” IN GREEK: This project has been idle for the last couple of months due to lack of funding. The text is translated and ready to be published but we need to raise the funds. The total cost will be $2500. Please pray for the Lord to provide. If you’d like to help out with this please contact us. We can’t stress enough how relevant this book is to the Greek people. There is a possible donor but we are unsure yet.
CD OF “HOW CAN A MAN BE BORN AGAIN” MESSAGE IN GREEK: The CD is in our possession and is currently being distributed among local Greek pastors and the local Christian book store in downtown Athens. Pray for God to use this tool to win souls for Christ!
OPEN DOORS TO MINISTER: Pray for the Lord to open doors of ministry on a day-to-day basis as well as doors He has already begun to open for us this summer.
DIRECTION: Please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit’s direction as we seek Him regarding ministry and location. We plan to remain in Athens for the time being.
FINANCIAL PROVISION: Here are some specific needs that we currently have… E.R. Bill for Suzie’s blue hand episode ( we are still working with the hospital to have it reduced); Book Publishing Cost; for our overall Monthly Support to increase to meet our personal and ministry needs. We are forever grateful for God’s faithfulness to ALWAYS provide for us!
Support Info: 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 again for taking the time to read and for standing in the gap with us!!
Frank & Suzie