By the grace of God, Jim and Tory Rath and I arrived in Greece after a very pleasant and comfortable trip. A very generous friend treated us to a first class flight. A first time for me. So great! Thank you friend! The Raths very kindly traveled with me so I would not travel alone.
We found the Ministry Center in a great shape. Our wonderful grounds keeper Benny, does a very good job keeping the place beautiful at all times.
After resting for a couple of days and doing a little sightseeing, on Thursday we visited the “CARE CENTER” in Thessaloniki. Although Greece still has thousands and thousands of refugees, many of them are placed in rented homes, empty buildings, homes but still the majority in camps. These camps now are under the care and supervision of the government. The public and even organizations are not allowed in unless they apply for a special permission to bring in supplies and clothing. This procedure takes up to 2-3 weeks.
The Evangelical churches here in Greece decided to do something different in order to serve the refugees. The two local churches that The Macedonian Outreach works with to help the refugees, are very creative in helping the refugees in a more effective way.
The church in the town of Milotopos renovated some old homes and placed refugee families in them. These homes are very close to the church. The refugees are free to live like the locals. The children go to school and the women mix with the women in town. Some of them come to our church. MO has been a partner in this project from the very beginning.
The second church we participate with is the church in Thessaloniki which, with other believers from other churches found the “CARE CENTER”. They rented and renovated the second floor of a very big building and sent out flyers in English and Arabic languages, inviting the refugees to come and eat, choose clothing and register for English, German or Greek lessons. They also give them the opportunity to wash and dry their clothes. Some American Christians sent to the Center three Maytag washers and dryers. There are also medical services by Christian doctors who offer their services freely in the Center.
The refugees from the camps get passes and can come to the City and also to the “CARE CENTER”, if they choose, as often as they like. Here is the beauty of the whole thing. When we visited the camps, we were not allowed to share Christ with the people. Now that they come to us, they are our guests and we are free to tell them about Christ and to show the Jesus film.
Both these methods of sharing Christ with the refugees are very creative. Other Evangelical churches around the country are doing similar things. If anyone of you wants to participate in this effort, please donate by visiting our website, www.macedonianoutreach.org or by sending your check directly to:
The Macedonian Outreach
P. O. Box 398
Danville, CA. 94526
With Love in Him Who Loved Us First,