Since Thursday is a regular workday here in Greece, this afternoon (Monday) we’ll join together with a group of our teammates to celebrate Thanksgiving – expatriate style. Yes, we’ll have turkey and cranberries (both imported from the US), stuffing and even pumpkin pie!
Of course, I’m thankful for a lot: God’s grace and faithfulness, an amazing wife, two wonderful kids (plus one on the way), an all-star group of teammates, and much more! This morning, however, my mind is on something a bit simpler: sleeping bags. As you may remember, about five weeks ago, I asked for help purchasing sleeping bags for homeless refugees here (see previous post).
I’m so thankful for God’s provision and your partnership (maybe I should say, God’s provision through your partnership)! Several blog readers and Facebook friends gave generously. Thank you! We’ve already handed out 100 sleeping bags, and are making plans to give another 100 bags in the next few weeks.
Nearly twenty of these sleeping bags went to a group of Afghan and Iranian refugees sleeping on the roof of an abandoned theater near one of the main parks in Athens. They slept in groups of two or three, embracing to stay warm, covering themselves with whatever they could find that might help keep the cold out (blankets, cardboard, stray fabrics, newspapers). In the name of Jesus, these sleeping bags were tangible witnesses of God’s love; a needed reminder that God has not forgotten these young men. The gift of these sleeping bags is a perfect compliment to our team’s ongoing witness with these refugees. I am thankful.
Our team also distributed almost 50 sleeping bags to (mostly Afghan) refugees sleeping in and around the port city of Patra (see here and here for some context). The needs in Patra are great, and we are thankful to work alongside our brothers and sisters from the Greek Free Evangelical Church of Patra. I am thankful.
Again, thanks!! Your generosity has opened the door for a deep and meaningful witness to the power and love of God in Jesus. Your partnership in this ministry means so much. Thank you!