Wednesday, May 2, 2012

From Thessaloniki to Athens

I feel as if the eyes of the whole world have been set upon Greece. At times the domestic affairs of my country confuse. They trigger feelings of aggression that lead to actions of violence which shame my society. It’s difficult to find the “root of all evil” and explain why this series of unfortunate events take place. Many Greeks shout out loud about the injustices brought upon them and the ways that they feel; robbed by compatriots.

 But as a young Greek at times I feel confused about the reason my country has fallen in such a deep well, unable to escape.  Being a hopeful twenty-year-old, the reality check according to my country’s current state could be more than enough in order to either totally victimise me in the present circumstances or send me looking for an alternative life...somewhere far-far away. The unemployment rates are frighteningly on the rise and even if I got a job, there is no guarantee I will be getting my salary regularly or entirely. Today’s situation has left today’s generation crippled and hopeless. 
It’s hard to determine the next step; I’ve been in church politics most of my life and I understand how church functions. The needs of the congregations, the coercions of our belief, and the overall effect we have on society. As time goes by the needs, the coercions, and the effects change. If I was to travel only two hours from my home, I would find myself where those things are interpreted very differently. Each culture holds different ethics, beliefs, and priorities. I can’t even begin to imagine what the needs, coercions and affects, Jesus faced were. I find myself trying to build a bridge to cross a very large river. This culture is nothing like yours. Greece has made its own history and is still writing it. When Paul visited Greece the welcoming was very different to that which he received in Rome.

Why am I mentioning these things? 

Because I believe if we do what we have always done we will only get what we have already got... It’s time for true change.

In 2009 I moved to Birmingham, England for an internship. My responsibilities were simple as this was a gap year of volunteer work. I worked as a youth worker at the local school and my responsibilities were also to the local church as a youth leader. I mainly worked with year nine girls (13 year-olds). This was an important learning experience for me, until that time I had been living at home, going to my parent’s church and homeschooled. Talk about living in a bubble. During my internship I faced spiritual, emotional, and physical challenges. (I personally recommend gap years) During my time there my team and I would attend the prayer centre in the heart of Birmingham. Where we did different group building exercises, we heard lectures from different speakers from all over England, and prayed together weekly. These people showed me true unity. Something that surpassed all words, they even wanted to share the unity they had in hope of true growth. Their hearts were all called to do work all over England, and they took time each Wednesday to gather to teach us in the morning and to pray for the city in the evening.

That is when God truly spoke to me. My heart kept going out to Greece, during the lectures I wished my friends from Greece could hear the things they shared with me. The pure love they had for God and for each other.  I remember one speaker in particular who shared with us one day, he told us about his home town and how there was a study conducted in the U.K. about the worse cities. His hometown came out on the top five if not the second. He told us how they got a reality check from that study, and how the churches gathered together to speak about this issue. They weren’t being effective. Being the church means to be the light. To actually BE the light. For the next month or two they all gathered together, pastors even started locking up their church buildings. The speaker shared with us how God brought them together, unified them in Spirit. I don’t remember all the details of his story, but I remember how he claimed his city, and asked us questions like: who is your target? How many people live in your city? How many churches are there? What is your responsibility? What can you do? He called his city his Jerusalem. Showed me how to love my city and the people God brings into my life.

I left my England a changed person.   

The vision is simple: the fulfilment of the body in active prayer and active participation in community work joined together as one force. No more one hour prayer meetings but prayer that last through the night, prayer in the midst of riots, prayer around the Greek parliament. People joining together in spirit during the Greek crisis to pray for God’s hand over the country. Empowering young adults to become intercessors for the Greek community

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