We’ve had a busy Spring filled with travelers, guests and ministry activity. Hope you can take a minute to read about some of the highlights…
GUESTS & VISITORS…
SHORT-TERM MISSION ADVENTURE: We began the month of May with two brothers named Herb & Chad that came for 10 days from CC Pocatello, Idaho. They both serve in their church back home and got their pastors blessing and their wives’ blessings to do a short-term missions outreach to refugees. While here they came to help out and check out our ministry as well. These two were a great blessing to us and modeled true servants’ hearts of Christ!
CC PASTORS FROM ENGLAND: Matt Kottman and his daughter Karissa from Disciples Church in Leatherhead, and John Brown from Servants Church in Norwich, came for an exploratory trip for a possible outreach in the Fall. These two are also dear friends so we not only showed them the ministry but also enjoyed abundant fellowship and prayer times together, all in a matter of four days. After I taught our Seekers Bible Study, I asked John and Matt to come up for the Q & A time that we usually have at the end of each teaching. So blessed by their hearts to love on the people of our church as well as reach out to those who are seeking to know more about Christ. Overall the trip was very fruitful and we believe it gave them and us a good idea of how to go forward. We have many possibilities for outreach and are beginning to pray and plan.
CC MISSIONARIES FROM PERU: May was a busy month of people coming in and out and this couple was the last addition to the month and was a blessing to have in our home. Cory & Danielle Kilgus and their beautiful baby girl, Abby, are CC missionaries that serve at the CC Bible College in Peru. Cory is the assistant/acting director for the school among other things. He and his wife were asked to come and fill in as director for the CC Bible College in Jerusalem for this last Spring semester and were on their
way back to Peru with a 4 day stop over in Greece. On one of the nights that they were here we had two families from our church over for dinner. This created an opportunity for them to get to know these families whom we’ve gotten close to. They also attended our Farsi church on Sunday and met many more of those who attend. Suzie & I have known the Lord for many years now and are very aware we are NOT young bucks anymore, but it’s always refreshing and a blessing to see and meet young missionaries like this couple who are mature, teachable and humble, with the hearts to serve no matter what they are doing! Blessed by the family of God!
IN THE MINISTRY…
SEEKERS BIBLE STUDY: After much prayer and consideration our team has decided to cancel our Seekers study, at least for a season if not permanently. Although the numbers have grown from 30 to over 100 in just a few months, and we have seen many come to Christ through this outreach, we feel the need to shift our focus. Our plan is to begin dedicating more time to the believers in our church for discipleship and relationship building. We feel this is the direction the Lord wants us to go in and believe by focusing on the believers we will be equipping them to do greater personal evangelism and more effectively reach their own people in ways that we cannot.
GROUP DISCIPLESHIP: Starting this Thursday we are beginning a weekly discipleship class for those in the church who are interested. Our focus will be to make disciple making disciples by teaching them the basics of the faith, how to study their Bibles and share what they learn, and by giving them practical guidance in Christian service. We are also implementing this with the ladies as well but through some different approaches. As we have reiterated before, we do not know how long we will have this particular group of believers who are coming to our church. After attaining asylum here in Greece, some may call Athens home but for many, they will eventually leave to other countries where they can make a better life for themselves. Our heart in this discipleship time is to teach them to abide in Christ, and become totally dependent upon Him and His word, eventually learning to give out what they learn to others wherever the Lord leads them in the future. We need to remember that we are called to make disciples, not dependents.
NEW CHURCH MEETING PLACE: Starting Sunday June 12th we will be meeting for our afternoon Farsi Sunday service at a new building. This new location is right next to the metro, which makes it easy for many to come. This place is actually a new day center for refugees that several of the ministries in town are operating. This center provides a place for refugees to hang out, do laundry, take showers and talk to Christians. Some of the believers in our church will be helping out at this center just to serve and be a witness during the week. Because the day center will be closed on Sundays the people running it are allowing our church to meet there on Sunday afternoons for free. Praise God for His provisions!
ONE-ON-ONE: This is always a highlight for me each week as I am continuing to meet with a brother that desires to grow more in the word. I will be taking him through the Inductive Bible Study method as well as eventually teaching him how to teach God’s word to others.
MEDICAL OUTREACHES BY CITY MEDICAL CARE: Sahar and Suzie are continuing their regular medical days at least twice per month but hope to begin hosting one per week. The heart of this ministry is to display the love of Christ by connecting people who cannot afford medical care with local doctors who freely volunteer their time. Each medical day focuses on a specific specialist in order to accurately provide the type of care that is needed. There are now a couple of days planned for June.
ANOTHER BAPTISM: In early May we performed our third baptism since the beginning of this year. This time around there were thirteen new refugee believers who made public professions to Christ. Many of the church members came out to witness and celebrate the joyous occasion. Thankfully the sea was a little warmer this time around.
AROUND THE CORNER…
FAMILY VISIT IN JUNE: Suzie’s sister Sandy and husband Clint will be coming to visit us for two weeks in June. We are very excited, as we have not had family visitors since 2005 when we were still serving in Poland. While here we will of course show them the standard touristy things of Greece, but also plan some vacation time on our favorite Greek island (4 hours away), Lefkada. Sandy and Clint blessed our socks off by renting a private villa for a whole week on the island that we have heard amazing things about! Looking forward to this time of family and rest! We are grateful to the Lord for being planted in a country with so many beautiful and exotic places to visit within a few hours drive of our home.
VISITING CC PASTOR IN JULY: In the last two weeks of July the senior pastor of CC Sierra in central California is coming with his family to minister to refugees with our church and ministry. They will serve along side us in the regular things we are doing as well as join in with some other ministry opportunities that we will plug them into. We are also working on planning some special ministry events while they are here. Their hearts to be involved and to be encouragements bless us so much!
SHORT-TERM HELP: As of late we have had many different people showing interest in the work we are doing and have expressed a desire to come and help in our ministry both short and long term from different churches in the States and Europe. This July we will have a sister named Robyn from the U.S. helping with different aspects of our ministry for a few weeks. We actually met her a couple years back at our mission’s conference in Austria. She was there serving at the conference on a team from one of our home churches. We are blessed to see people like this with a heart to serve in whatever way they can.
A FINAL THOUGHT…
We’ve always been the kind of missionaries that are not locational but vocational. Wherever God places us, He always has us doing what He’s called us to and gifted us for, whether it’s with refugees from other countries or the locals of that country. In this season of ministry we can’t even express how blessed we are, we hope it comes out in our newsletters, but we know words are not enough sometimes. God’s timing for everything is perfect and direct and it baffles me how we ALWAYS forget that. We are so thankful for His mercy and grace. Thank you again and again for all of your love, support and prayers for us! Please continue to read our praise and prayer below!!
- NEW LOCATION: We praise the Lord for our new church meeting place that He has provided for free.
- SOUND SYSTEM: For the small sound system that God has provided through someone.
- KID’S MINISTRY: God has also provided children’s ministry workers for Sundays for the time being. We have gotten to know the couple leading the YWAM ministry based here in Athens. Their ministry has a constant flow of teams coming to assist local ministries. Every week they have been blessing us by filling our children’s ministry needs. Praise God!
- FARSI BIBLES: A ministry in Athens donated a couple thousand Euros worth of new Farsi Bibles to our church. God provides in many ways and through many different avenues!!
PRAY WITH US…
One of the greatest ways that you can support us is through your prayer. We face some very real needs and challenges. Please stand in the gap with us as we ask our Father in heaven to intervene according to His will. To read about our most current prayer needs please click HERE to find our “How to Pray for Us” page.
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