If you’ve been following #NOLAtoGR on social media (if not, you definitely should be!), you’ve seen a little bit of our Grecian journey so far, and let’s be honest, from our pictures of the delicious food, incredible views, and plenty of smile-filled selfies, it probably doesn’t seem like we’re “roughing it” as you might expect us to do on a trip like this. You might be wondering when our “real work” begins, and you’re probably not the only one asking that question.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: sometimes serving and volunteering involves more than nose-to-the-grindstone tasks. Sometimes it’s sharing a meal and a conversation with a local ministry partner. Sometimes it’s catching up with a shopkeeper you’ve met in years past. Sometimes it’s exploring a region and piecing together a better understanding of everyday life as you watch and listen to the people of that region. And sometimes serving involves sitting still and being present and ready and willing.
Technically, the “real work” of this trip starts in about 10 hours. Our team will be dividing up to serve at a few refugee centers here in Greece, assisting with various activities and pitching in wherever we can and however we can. But honestly, our task began long before we even set foot in this region. Our team started “working” months ago as we began training for this trip. We continued as we made our way through airports, trains, and bus rides. And more importantly, God’s work has been happening before we even had the notion to come to Greece and serve refugees. We are a handful of tiny threads in a much larger tapestry, a beautiful picture of the Lord’s love for those on the margins of society.
So if you ask me if I’m ready to begin really working in the morning and get this trip started, I’ll probably tell you about how our team has been “working” for a good long while already. And the Holy Spirit has been at work here for even longer. Our group is excited to get to the tasks we’ve been planning and preparing for, but we’ve been just as enthusiastic about the work we’ve already experienced.
As you’re winding down your Monday (and we’re beginning our Tuesday), pray for us. Our team is already experiencing both the joys and the fatigues of a trip like this. Pray that the Lord would draw us closer. Also pray that He would continuously help us to be open to the opportunities right under our noses, whether that’s on public transportation or as we walk through a neighborhood or at the refugee centers. Ask God to give us sensitivity to what He is already doing here in Greece so we can continue to be a part of His work and so that like Paul said in Colossians 3: 17, whatever we do, we will “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”