I love the vision of our ministry! It’s compelling. It’s full of passion. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what we’re all about:
Helping Hands is striving to be a FULL-SERVICE station on this exit ramp of the Refugee Highway by partnering with churches to offer practical services which demonstrate the love of God for the refugee as a whole person, and which invite the refugee to be a part of advancing His kingdom among the nations.
This vision clearly communicates both the team’s passion and its approach. There are three points here that I think are worth highlighting. First, the emphasis on the ministry as “FULL-SERVICE” reflects the team’s holistic understanding of the gospel. Simply passing out religious tracts as refugees starve betrays Jesus’ teachings. Helping Hands seeks to simultaneously demonstrate God’s love through acts of compassion and proclaim God’s truth by inviting individual’s to join His kingdom.
Second, notice the emphasis on the local church. Helping Hands understands the importance of partnering with local congregations in carrying out the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18-20). This emphasis plays out in two ways: (1) we partner with international churches as sending and giving partners – each team member comes to Athens with the full support of their local church; (2) we partner with local Greek Evangelical churches to fulfill the ministry and disciple new believers. Baptisms and much of the discipleship of Helping Hands takes places in the context of the local Greek church. Although the Greek Evangelical church is small, it is our hope that they would one day take full leadership in this outreach to their Muslim neighbors.
A third important aspect of this vision is the emphasis on equipping Muslim-background believers for ministry. This is done through one-on-one discipleship, bible study classes, worship services, and periodic intensive training seminars. As refugee believers leave Athens, then, they are well equipped to share Christ and plant churches around the world. For me, this is one of the most exciting aspects of the ministry!