Last Thursday, Kim, Annika, and I were invited to Peggy and Argiris' home in Galatista. As far as I understand (which isn't very far when it comes to Greek holidays), January 6th is the national celebration of Epiphany, the visitation of the Magi, and the baptism of Jesus. However, in Galatista, they celebrate the 6th of January a little differently...
It goes something like this: Turkish soldiers kidnapped a beautiful young Greek woman from Galatista. In response, the Greeks planned a rescue. They disguised a donkey as a camel and upon arriving at the Turkish outpost, they proceeded to get the soldiers completely drunk with wine. Given their level of intoxication and the ingenious 'trojan' camel, the Greeks were able to smuggle the young Galatistan woman safely home. She then marries her fiancée and they lives happily ever after.
In celebration of this momentous victory, every 6th of January, there is free food in the village square, along with hours of traditional music, dress, and dancing, as the conquering camel is paraded through the streets. This felt like my first real cultural experience in Greece. It was as if I were living one of those exotic Travel Channel shows. I really felt like a foreigner.
I also found myself really absorbed in shooting the festivities with my Canon DSLR, which was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it, which is something I haven't felt shooting in some time. Click here to see more photos.
Following the celebration, we returned to Peggy and Argiris' home. Due to the challenging financial situation that is quite pervasive in Greece presently, they had to leave their apartment and constructed temporary living quarters in the workshop below his parents' home. I share that just to give you a small idea of what the economic situation is like in Greece.
Argi also showed me his workshop. It's a large metal hangar, a short drive for his parents' home, full of heavy machining equipment, welders, and massive metal lathes from the '50s, built in former-Czechoslovakia. Argiris is somewhat of a machinist by trade, skilled in custom metal fabrication and repair. You see another side of a man when you see him operating masterfully in the element of his profession. You enter into his joy as you watch him do what he loves to do. Argiris may end up selling his shop, tools, and machines, as he and Peggy continue to pray about God's will for them concerning opportunities for financial provision.
|Annika and Argiris|
It's been a little over a month that I've been here now and I'm starting to see that the focus of this time has been more about developing relationships with brothers and sisters in the body; and not so much diving into my own ministry. Having real, growing relationships within the body is so necessary to growth and is a conduit for experiencing the love, safety, and security of God through His family.
'And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all - Ephesians 1:22-23'
'...holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.' - Col 2:19
I've come to realize a certain level of subconscious pride or superiority as an American, especially in things pertaining to God. The Lord has been really good in helping me overcome this.
'For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?' - 1 Cor. 4:7
'Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,' - 2 Cor. 3:5
'For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren' - Heb. 2:11
I can't really say it any better than those verses. They release so much grace and peace, as they neutralize striving and disarm a spirit of competition.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Please continue praying. It is having a dramatic effect. Also, feel free to message or video chat with me via Skype, as we have the opportunity. My Skype account information is available on the About Me page.
I love you all.