Serving and learning in Athens has been an absolute pleasure. I've gotten to taste different aspects of ministry, from scrubbing kitchens and rolling (what seems like a billion) sleeping bags, to singing songs about Christ's love with children and talking about Jesus as more than a prophet with women. I have been challenged in the past week to being more intentional to stay in the Word during free time, and praying over each and every day.
I have fallen in love with the dynamic this city has to offer. East meets West in a way where young boys and girls are asked to read words of Jesus in their native tongue, an exercise that could not be done so freely in their home countries. My heart is softened towards the love of the Father each day, seeing the pain of this world being transformed into the hope of the Gospel.
The other day, a women on staff at Hellenic Ministries had myself and my two co-interns over to help her prepare some things for family camp later this month. She began our time together in devotion, reading Psalm 23 together. The psalm pierced through my heart in a way the familiar text never had before. Verse 3 had me in tears,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
My Lord is so, so faithful to take care of His children, calling us into holiness, into Himself, to give us comfort and rest. I adore notion here that being led in paths of righteousness, in obedience by the Spirit, both refreshes me and brings honor to the Father. I pray that my Lord leads me in righteousness for my restoration and His glorification!
My spirit's attention is focused to the book of John in my personal devotional time. Though I am reading through at a snail's pace to soak up the goodness of my Savior's words. I could talk about countless things, but chapter 5:30 has really stuck with me.:
"I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me."
As I hand bread to refugees at weekly meals, I hear in my spirit, "I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."
As I scrub toilets, I repeat, trying not to grimace, "I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."
As I color with elementary-aged children, I smile and think, "I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."
As I sit in staff meetings, excited for the ministry to come, my heart sings, "I seek not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me."
As I hear Persian women talk about the pain they have been through, the Lord reminds me, "Seek not your own will, but Mine. You cannot do this on your own, but my daughter, I am always with you."
Thank you for being part of this mission in Athens, and empowering me to do the Lord's will as I learn how to minister and serve cross-culturally. Praise God for the amazing things He is doing here! PLEASE be in prayer for the Mercy Ministry team (and their beloved interns) as next week is the women's camp. This is a week of teaching and counseling for Persian women who have become Believers. Pray for the Spirit's power in bringing healing and restoration to these women, as they are given the freedom and resources to seek just that. Please pray for all the teachers and workers and that the week bears fruit! (Also, I'm just REALLY EXCITED about it!)
(My love language is words of affirmation, so any kind messages are welcomed with an open inbox.)