The hot season is starting to descend on Greece. Located on the Mediterranean, Greece is known for it’s near perfect climate and sun. But in the summer months, it starts to get quite hot.
Things have been pretty for the past couple of years as the Greek economy continues to fall apart. It is starting to hit everyone now, and there’s not just unemployment but a lot of illness, depression, and chaos growing in the country. Fortunately, the Athens CHOG is making a remarkable resurgence. A year ago, the church was close to being finished off. Today, there is a Greek service and an Indonesia service and attendance is up to 50–the most that Church of God has had in easily more than a decade.
Furthermore, new ministries and forms of outreach are happening in the community including a drug rehabilitation program and a drama event that packed the 350 seat auditorium!
This past week we had Pastor Vassilios and his wife Natasha up to Berlin to enjoy some much needed R&R and to discuss future partnership with Three Worlds. We were all full of ideas and are getting very excited to see where all of this is headed. We both believe in high levels of accountability and mutual accountability. Among the things in the pipeline:
*Renovations of the Church as we configure it to host more community events.
*Creating a multi-purpose stage for church, music, lectures, and drama (which includes some equipment and work we will need churches to help with). Already, thanks to Western Canada CHOG, we are able to configure the sanctuary better for the joint Indonesian-Greek services. Thank you Western Canada! We will need rafters for lighting, new lights, headsets for simultaneous translation, microphones, screens, video cameras to record events, a transparent/portable pulpit.
*Dave and Kathy Simpson will be dispatched to Athens to finalize a lot of legal and organizational issues as well as begin some of the renovation work.
*Pastor Vassilios will be joining us in Rome for the 3W Seminar on Church organization in September led by Rod Stafford of Fairfax Community Church.
*Greece CHOG and 3W will be planning an expansion into Romania in December with a trip to Bucharest.
*Kelley and Rhonda Philips will be dispatched to Athens to look at the issues of Sex Trafficking in the church’s neighborhood.
*We hope to have Tri-S become a regular visitor to the Athens CHOG.
*A 3W Seminar on Church Health that will be open to all churches in the Athens area.
*We will begin discussing plans for a youth basketball camp that will be a partnership with the Rome CHOG.
*3W Staff Meeting in 2014 will be in Greece.
*3W and Athens CHOG plan to host some special CHOG conferences in the near future (more details later).
And this is just the beginning! We are so excited to see new life in the Athens CHOG and we are thrilled to be working with Vassilios and Natasha.