At the Foot of Mars Hill (An Update from Greece)
I hope you’re planning on taking some time this weekend to enjoy a picnic, some fireworks, and a dip in a pool.
It occurred to me recently that, as leaders of Northpoint, we often do a better job of promoting upcoming events than celebrating what God does through those events. I want to change that. I want to be more intentional about highlighting the fruit that is borne as God shows his power and faithfulness through the sacrificial efforts of his church.
With that in mind, below is an update from Pastor Brent on the team in Athens, Greece, which is currently ministering in one of the most historic locations in the Bible, just down the street from the famous Areopagus (Mars Hill). It was here that the Apostle Paul delivered his captivating sermon which concluded with the proverbial mic-drop: “[God] will judge the world in righteousness by a man he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
Here’s what Brent had to say this morning:
The Northpoint mission trip to Athens, Greece has been a wonderful blessing so far. It has been an ambitious schedule to this point for our team of twelve, but the Lord has used the work in tremendous ways. Our primary goal has been to support the work of our missionaries Stefanos and Manon Mihalios; specifically, a new church plant in a crowded suburb of Athens called Kypseli. The neighborhood is extremely diverse: There is a large percentage of Albanians, Africans, and Middle Easterners. The presence of a dozen Americans in the neighborhood does not turn heads as it would have years ago, which is good for our ministry effectiveness here. And many people hail from highly social cultural contexts, which means it is very easy to approach people on the streets. The church does a number of different activities throughout the week to raise awareness in the community that there is an evangelical fellowship there. They have English classes, coffee events for women and families, game nights, barista training, etc.
Last Saturday, we helped put on a festival in the town square for children and families. Hundreds of people from the neighborhood attended. We will be arranging another festival this Friday night, which should attract even more people. We have also done a number of visitations throughout the week, including distributing food to lower income families who have had some association with the church. In the course of one of these visitations, a woman professed faith in Jesus Christ for the first time. This is quite a big deal in a country like Greece where there is significant resistance to evangelical Christianity. Pastor Jonathan has spent time working with the youth who attend the church, including a day at the beach with them. Women packed the church to hear Marti Wiegman teach on issues related to women’s ministry.
We have also assisted the work of Hellenic Ministries by packaging New Testaments to be distributed in the northern part of Greece next month. The whole project prepared over 100,000 Bibles for this endeavor. We visited the Greek Bible College and learned more about Stefanos’ teaching ministry there. In the few spare hours that we have had, we have visited ancient Corinth and the Acropolis. The team is tired but in good spirits. This trip has certainly helped to solidify our relationship with the church plant here, and there is much scope for future partnership opportunities.
Please pray that we finish strong and that the Friday night festival will bring many people to the church and help raise awareness for its programs. – Pastor Brent
Please lift up these travelers’ names to the Lord and ask God to sustain them and bless their efforts in ways they never expected.
To the praise of his glory,