Greetings to you all from sunny Greece I hope you all had a good Easter
I celebrated Easter by attending on Good Friday an Evangelical Greek Service in the morning and an English-speaking remembrance service in the evening. And on Easter Sunday attending my normal Greek Church and being reminded of his death and resurrection .
Jesus said, It is finished John 19:30b
It’s over, its completed, Jesus is triumphant and victorious over death. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!
The Easter card given out to the girls
Easter Celebrations, as in previous years to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord we distributed Easter gifts to the girls. This year the gift was a candle. However something unexpected happened, the original gifts that we planned to give out never arrived, so in order for us to meet the deadline plan B took effect, myself, the staff team and with the help of the Threads of Hope girls decorated and prepared the candles. This year all the outreach teams handed out roughly 600 gifts and cards to the girls and madams. Out of this the Wednesday Morning Easter Outreach Team gave out 182 Easter cards and gifts. Our message this year was:
May the resurrection of Christ be the foundation of our lives!
Easter gifts for the girls – decorated candles
My outreach partner and myself walking to a brothel
Women’s Day celebrations, this year I organised the celebrations. There was plenty of laughter, food and drink, gifts and two large poppers
A shower of confetti from a popped popper
Outreach to the Brothels I continue to lead the Wednesday Morning Outreach Team to the brothels, the number of girls who are in the Brothels increased and we had to buy more Easter gifts. During our normal outreach the team is small with one man and 3 women, this means we cannot have two pairs go into the brothels, only one pair, so please be praying for us as we need volunteers who can speak Greek or Russia or even both languages
Change and Transition at Nea Zoi, as a result of the reboot in October 2017 , Nea Zoi continues to go through a period of transition and change. On the 1st January 2018 Martha Polyrakis stepped down from the role of Director and was replaced by Chris Lombard, During this period there has been a lot of change about how we function as a staff team, how we train our volunteers and changes to the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Please be praying that as the changes continue it will be a smooth transition period, that all staff members will welcome the changes and see the change as making Nea Zoi much more effective.
The outreach to Piraeus port continues to see 70-100 men (and some women) who are sleeping rough. The numbers have tended to fluctuate depending on the season. This last month, I not only saw people who sleep in the port but also people who come from the local area who know about the feeding programme and so when we arrive we see them standing about in groups waiting to be feed. Sometimes the men can become aggressive, are drunk, are high on drugs and behave inappropriately. However there are always enough men on the team to support the women volunteers. Many times the people we serve ask for a second helping of food and we refuse because sometimes there is not enough food and because there are complaints if we give seconds.
The women volunteers
Volunteering at the Salvation Army, since last year the Faros – Centre has not needed my help as much on a Friday morning so early this year I prayed about what else I could be doing on a Friday morning. I wanted something were I could meet people outside of my Christian circle to share the message and where I could speak and improve on my Greek. So in March this year I started helping at the Salvation Army charity shop, sorting clothing, tidying up the clothes in the shop and helping customers. I meet people from every walk of life – different nationalities, the very old, the very young, Greeks, families etc. Please be praying that this is where God wants me to be.
Threads of Hope, which is separate from Nea Zoi but comes under the umbrella of the Nea Zoi board is also going through a period of change, the old director has stepped down and was replaced by a new Director, Eva-Lena Hallmark. The Director approached me about working at Threads of Hope. This is an exciting opportunity as I will be working and supporting girls who have existed prostitution and who make women’s bags and other things to earn a living. This will be something I do on a Monday while continuing to work at Nea Zoi the other days of the week, so please be praying that this is where God wants me to be, my role and building relationships with the girls.
Always for his Glory