We depart for Greece in a few short months. As we prepare to leave, we echo the words of J.O. Fraser, a CIM (OMF) mission partner working in China from 1886-1938:
“I am feeling more and more that it is, after all, just the prayers of God’s people that call down blessing upon the work, whether they are directly engaged in it or not. Paul may plant and Apollos water, but it is God who gives the increase; and this increase can be brought down from heaven by believing prayer, whether offered in China or in England… If this is so, then Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those actually on the field… What I covet more than anything else is earnest, believing prayer.”
How can you be involved in our work whilst remaining at home?
Pray for Greeks. Pray for Greek churches. Pray for Greek Christians. Pray for Greek students. Pray for Greek politicians. Pray for Greece. Pray for us.
It’s fascinating. The ministry is exciting. Important. Daring. Godly.
I’m thrilled to be able to pray for that ministry and be a part of it. I plan to pray for that person and their ministry.
But the following morning I have forgotten. There’s just too much going on in life! It gets crowded out by the more urgent things. The prayer letter never again sees the light of day. The person doesn’t get prayed for.
Sound familiar?! This is me. I’m terrible at remembering to prayer for stuff I read in prayer letters. And so are many of the people I’ve spoken to about prayer letters.
Fortunately, Prayer Mate was designed for people like us!
The mission partner stands at the front of church one week. He’s telling the congregation about how the work he’s going to do is towards the fulfilment of the Great Commission. The next week he’s gone. He’s there. Thousands of miles away. Doing mission.
But what does it look like for the Christian who is left behind to be a part of that same mission? To be a part of the fulfilling of that same Great Commission? What practically can they do?
This article (originally entitled “What we’ve been learning about typical Greek students”) is by Jonathan and Dawn Clark, our colleagues in Athens. It was first posted in May 2013 on their blog, Greece is the Word.
Between Christmas and Easter I was on two campuses regularly with small groups of our students, getting on with evangelism to strangers, hoping for two things: first, to sow the seed of the word to whomever we could and, second, to grow confidence and skill among the members of IFES Greece.
We anticipated this being a small beginning, and it has been, but here’s a couple of observations.
We are writing answers to many of the questions we are frequently asked as we begin this new stage of ministry.
But we need your help! Which questions should we focus on? We’ve written below a hitlist of questions we are working through. Please vote for the three you would like us to focus on first. (It’s all completely anonymous!)
Do you have any other questions you would like us to answer? Please write it in a comment below.
The Guardian has an article today on how to make the perfect Greek salad. Go read it, then eat some lovely Greek salad outside in the sunshine.
Please don’t forget the oregano, olive oil and vinegar – it’s not Greek without generous amounts of these three over the top. Kalamata olives are essential. They’re the king of olives. Lemon juice is also non-negotiable, and gives it all a nice zing. Forget salad leaves, which are not very Greek. And I’m not quite sure what to make of pouring ouzo on it… Let us know how that one goes!
So, go, give it a try! And whilst you’re thanking God for the food he’s given you, why not pray for your Greek brothers and sisters in Christ to be salt and light in a society that is hostile and hardened to the gospel.
Our ministry and training is financially supported by churches and individuals around the world. Currently, we have raised 95% of our fundraising target for the academic year 2013-2014.
Please would you join us in praying for provision of the final 5%, and would you consider contributing towards it?
If you would like to partner with us and contribute financially towards the remaining 5%, either get in touch or visit our Stewardship page, where you can give tax effectively. We are happy to provide more information if it would be helpful.
In the course of researching and writing my dissertation, I’ve struggled to track down much published information – in English – on Greek evangelicalism.
I’ve just found – for the first time – an interesting and enlightening chapter that helps clarify the history and treatment of Greek evangelicals.
It’s accessible stuff – not too academic – and gives a helpful overview of the history of the Greek Evangelical church, the treatment Greek evangelicals face, and some of the constitutional restrictions Greek evangelicals face, i.e. that they can’t proselytise.
It’s on Google Books, which means you can read it online for free. It’s well worth a quick five minute read to inform your prayers.
Ioatrides, John O. “Evangelicals.” Pages 46–63 in Minorities in Greece. Edited by Richard Clogg. London: C Hurst & Co, 2002.