Hello from Greece!!! It’s already been an amazing experience in many ways and I can’t wait to share pictures and stories with everyone when I get back.
Isaiah 43:19 has been a verse that has been spoken over me and to me over the last six months, “Forget the former things do not dwell on the past. I am doing a new thing. Now I spring up: do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” I had written this in my journal on January 23, 2011. And again during our last women’s retreat – All Things New – I am a strong believer that God is still working on me and that he can make all things new, even with things that don’t appear to need change on the outside – He still makes all things new. I had been struggling in some personal areas of my life, mainly over losses and frustrations over high expectations I placed on myself for work, home, and school and I went to the last women’s retreat feeling nothing – some would call that peace. I loved it!
I came to Greece feeling – nothing – not knowing what God has in store for me. I had no plan of action other than get to the school. I did not know how I was even going to find the place until a week before! I sat in class these last two days just waiting expectantly for God to reveal something gigantic – yet there was nothing. But today Chandler, myself, and 10 other students ran to the bus stop after class so that we could get to downtown Athens (similar to the Bronx area of NY), and go serve food, clothing, and Jesus to Muslim Afghan men, women, and children refugee’s at the OASIS Ministry. There were approximately 40 families served. Chandler played soccer with the little ones in a cramped room of the basement, then he passed out food to these families to take home. All they get is one grocery bag and it’s not even full. For dinner everyone is served a similar meal to one bean burrito. And yet, they are grateful! Watching Chandler at 15 years old serve others was amazing. There is nothing like serving alongside your own kid!!! Then, they are free to leave but have an option to stay and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. During that time, the younger children are watching a DVD about Jesus in their language.
We had to leave before it got dark because it is just too dangerous to be on that side of town at dark, but the room stayed FULL, standing room only of Muslim adults, who had heard they’re whole life that Christians were the enemy and must die – to only turn around be served by us, they are confused but interested and were grateful for what they were being given. We had to wear long skirts and long sleeve shirts out of respect for the Muslim culture – which we all did. We left the soccer ball we had just bought from the airport and then the 12 of us students chipped in to buy 3lbs of cookies for the kids, so when we left they all had chocolate faces. It was beautiful!
I cannot find the words to described God’s goodness today. Prior to going, there was some kind of hiccup in my money transfer and I was not sure if we would have enough Euro’s to get to the ministry and back, so I whined to God – I said, “God, I don’t think we can afford this right now, I only have 10 Euro’s and it takes 6 to get downtown and back.” He said, “go.” So I ran to my room and I changed my clothes, Chandler had to borrow pants from another student, so he ran back to his room to change. I by chance checked my card statement and the hiccup had cleared up and there was money to withdrawal! So, Chandler and I ran downstairs to throw some protein back and heard that the group had already left. I whined to God again, “but God you told me to go, I said I would and now they’ve left.” So I slowed my eating and within seconds someone else walked in saying they were waiting for us and again, I heard God say, “go.” So we ran and went and bought the public transportation tickets for Chandler and I and on our way we went. We had to buy dinner while we were downtown and while we probably would’ve skimped and split a Gyro for 2 Euro, God provided us with more than we needed and we were able to split a chicken skewer plate for 9 Euro.
God is so good. He provides. All we have to do is trust him! God is still doing a New Thing with me. I do not know what it is, I do not know what it looks like but He is asking me to trust him in the little things. What do you need to trust Him for today?
See, I don’t have problems giving him my fathers Leukemia, my sisters, my coworkers, my friends, but I have a hard time giving him my daily plan and I feel He is calling me out and saying, “Susie, just trust Me, I have a NEW plan for you.” It is scary, I like to have control – but today, I’m too tired to argue! God, here I am. Take it all! Take all of my plans for my life and create in me NEW thing. I am an empty vessel and I am open to YOUR plan for my life. In Jesus’ name,
From Greece with Love,