Tasos. I met this guy in little souvlaki restaurant about a week ago. He's a 27-year old guy. He lives in Kalamaria (a municipality of Thessaloniki), which is one of the places I play basketball to meet people in the city. He works in this souvlaki place in Peraia for a relative of the family, as I understand it. He's fan of the NBA, or at least, the glory days of American basketball. I believe he also told me that he studied to be a priest when he was younger. He speaks enough English for us to communicate relatively well. In prayer this morning, I felt like I was supposed to buy him one of the NBA action figures I had seen in a store a week or so ago, so I did. I'm not sure yet when I will give it to him.
I played basketball for the first time in the city today. There wasn't anyone on the courts, as it was perhaps too cold, but it was worth the investment. I prayed for the sons and daughters of Thessaloniki to be born again. I'm looking forward to meeting my new brothers and sisters.
I met two guys at the bus stop after leaving the courts. One was Canadian and the other was South Korean. The Canadian had a big back-pack on, so it was pretty clear they weren't from Greece. They're exchange students at a university near Zurich in Switzerland. All the European students at their university left to be with family during the holidays, so these two decided to take a backpacking tour of eastern Europe. They asked what I was doing, so I told them I was a missionary here (I think it's safe to say that openly to South Korean and Canadian travelers). I can't say for sure they weren't believers, but I didn't receive the response of a kindred spirit. They seemed pretty lost actually, and I was struck pretty sober by the contrast. Here these guys are looking for a family and I don't think they've been adopted into God's family yet. It made me realize the treasure of the Holy Spirit and Christ in me, the hope of glory. As soon as I got on the bus, I regretted doing so, so quickly. I felt as though I had cut short a God-opportunity, and for what? What am I in a hurry to return to? Oh, well. I prayed, confessed, and repented. There will be more.
Mike. I decided to ask this dread-locked 25-year old dude that sat next to me on the bus if he spoke English. It turns out, he did, so we had a conversation! He went to cooking school and lives in Peraia aswell, with his parents and younger brothers. He lived in Germany for three years and prefers living there, although his dream is to go to the US. He likes to cook, play soccer, and create hip-hop and electronic music. I told him that I liked electronic music too. He asked me if I liked to listen to trance and go to clubs. I told him that I wasn't big on the club scene, but that I liked Christian electronic music. "What's that?" "Electronic music created under the influence of the Holy Spirit," I told him, "It's the best." "Ok," as he nodded his head. I think he understood me.
Please pray for all of these guys and continue to pray for us! Pray for wisdom, open doors, and divine appointments. Pray for love, boldness, and sensitivity to the leading of His Spirit. May lots and lots of them come to know Jesus Christ through our love. Most of all, may Jesus have first place in our hearts.