We’re now in our sixth year in Athens, where we are involved in gospel ministry among students. We work with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (www.ifesworld.org) and our aim is to help firmly establish a Greek student movement that is committed to mission among students: driven by the Bible, centred on the gospel, devoted to Jesus Christ and effective at communicating his good news to the 400,000 students in Greece.
Being involved in the Christian Union movement as students (www.uccf.org.uk) was really influential in our own growth as Christians and we believe that it is a strategic ministry to be involved in – giving us a chance both to reach young people in their student years and to train believers for a life time of service in local churches, building conviction, competence and character so that the body of Christ is built up.
Athens is an interesting place to live and work these days, and being at the centre of media attention means that there is plenty of uncertainty about the future. Life goes on as normal, on the whole, and the door remains open to help develop a committment to evangelism and see progress in discipleship. These are urgent needs: the church in Greece is small and marginalised, and there is a great need for young people gripped by the gospel of Christ and grounded in Scripture to be workers, neighbours, friends, husbands and wives, Sunday school teachers, holders of public office and so on, who will shine as lights as they hold out the word of life in Greece and beyond.
We are part of a local Greek evangelical church, live near one of the universities in the city of Athens itself and our children go to local Greek school. It is increasingly all Greek to us! Everything in Greece happens a little slower than in England (apart from the parallel parking – they’re better at that having much more practice in tighter spaces!) including language learning. We are now at the stage where we can just about do everything in Greek, though more fluency is needed.
It’s a great privilege to be there, though a burden and a challenge at the same time. Please pray with us for the growth of the gospel among students, and don’t hesitate to be in touch!