When you get new shoes, it generally goes something like this: you find a pair that seems interesting to you, maybe try them on, learn about them. After buying and wearing the shoes you may be excited about them- people notice them, you look cool, and it's always refreshing to show some love to your feet. However, after a while the shoes may start giving you blisters or wearing down. The new-ness fades and the shoes become just another pair, no longer classified as your "new" shoes. But still, most favorite shoes look worn and may be past their prime. They've been donned many times and have been many places and have withstood the things that we don't want our feet to touch. Have you been grateful for your shoes lately? (I have... I've stepped in some non-water puddles, if you know what I mean.)
I have been in Greece for almost three weeks now. My time here is almost half finished. This "shoe's" new-ness is starting to fade as I get the feel for the routine. On Tuesday, Lindsey and I finished discovering the daily routine at the ARC. We have experienced the Thursday shower day, Saturday tea day, and Tuesday meal day. Up until this week, everything has been novel to me.
Please pray for Lindsey and I as the work here begins to wear on us more without the protection of everything being new and exciting. I am not saying that I don't like the work-- no, I really enjoy it. But it takes a lot of energy to entertain and translating (or finding a translator). I hope you do not view this as complaining, because it isn't. As I learn more about the cultures, about the things that happen behind-the-scenes, about some of the stresses that the Helping Hands staff faces almost constantly... I learn more about listening to God and being a servant. A hard lesson, but a good one. And I'm pretty sure this will turn out to be a favorite pair of shoes, if you know what I mean.
In Philippians, Paul writes about his persecution, saying that he knows he will be delivered through the prayers of fellow believers and the help of the spirit of Jesus. Join me in praying for Christians who are being persecuted. Many of the refugees who are Christians or are even seeking to know more about Christ are being persecuted. Some are just threats, some are threats that could possibly turn into realities, but they all hurt. Even children are whispering things to believers their ages. Pray for strength in these situations and pray for protection against evil. Pray for "sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted." (Ph. 1:20).
On a lighter note, Lindsey and I were able to join some friends ("the Harding Interns") for a journey through the Plaka yesterday. It's a touristy part of Athens that has a flea market and some great restaurants. Being able to walk around, laugh, and get to know people better was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. (By the way, European women must have smaller feet than American women because I can find a nice variety of shoes in my size here!) While we're at work, we don't get to see much of the Greek culture, so Lindsey and I try to get into the city every now and then. We've been able to visit the Akropoli Museum and will be visiting Corinth with a couple of our teammates on Monday, which will be an adventure of its own!
Here's to all the adventures!