Condensing today’s experiences into a few paragraphs seems impossible. We visited three families and witnessed varying degrees of poverty and hardship, but also different levels of understanding about God and the Bible. We tried to visit a couple of others but the timing wasn’t right. In between two of our visits, we stopped at a beautiful Apostolic church for a quick look. There, we met an Armenian couple visiting from Crete and immediately befriended them (Pastor Joseph was born in Greece so the connection was natural). We hope to stay in touch and share our faith with them.
One thing that really struck us today was the contrast between the opulence of the state church and the dire conditions of some of the homes we have visited. It was a good reminder that beautiful buildings are nice to look at but they do not ultimately meet the basic needs—physical and spiritual—of people. We, the Body of Christ, need to be the Church and reach out to those around us. To that end, we’re grateful that we were able to meet with these families, talk to them, pray with them, and leave them books and Bibles. (One family was so embarrassed about their home that they were reluctant to let us take pictures. We were able to take a few, however, and feel it’s important for our supporters to see the needs of those they are helping us help.)
Before heading to the hotel from our last visit, we stopped at another church—an evangelical one—and dropped off more copies of Pastor Joseph’s books and also gave two Bibles to one of the deacons who does a lot of outreach in his community.
Please continue to pray for our work here as we approach the end of our mission trip. Thank you!