I am beyond excited to update you on the long-awaited first workday of Operation Joshua! Overall, our team had a successful day, handing out nearly 1,000 Bibles in three Greek villages and having many quick, encouraging conversations with people. Despite the sweltering heat, we stayed safe and hydrated as we moved through our assigned villages. Praise God for His provision!
We had one interaction when stopped to eat lunch in the little shade we could find. A man drove up on his motorbike to question who we were and why exactly 13 Americans, wearing matching blue shirts, decided to rest in his village. Through one of our incredibly helpful translators, we handed him a Bible, telling him our goal. Joel immediately used scripture to explain that salvation comes only by grace and through faith, and our new friend was happy to listen. As we chatted, we learned that he was an immigrant from Afghanistan living in Greece for ten years. We also learned he belonged to the Muslim faith. Although we did not see this man accept Christ, we are all thankful that he simply listened to God’s truth as Joel spoke and politely accepted the Bible. We pray that our Muslim friend would look further into God’s Word, and, by God’s grace, come to faith in the future.
We had a very welcoming response in a small supermarket where we stopped to buy water and use the restroom. The owners quickly discovered our goal to spread the love and Gospel of Christ and seemed very pleased. In the end, a few members of the team were able to pray for one man and gift a few Bibles. They happily offered us a bathroom, some food, and they even refused payment for the pack of water we tried to purchase! The love they showed was both relieving and encouraging, as it seems that many Greeks are not too open to the Gospel message. This was truly a moment of God’s grace!
Despite the many uplifting moments such as these, we did have a few rough encounters during our day. For example, we watched one man wait until one of our vans was full of people before throwing his copy of the Bible in the dumpster. We prayed that God would convict him or cause him in some way to take his gift out of the trash and look into it.
Thank you so much for keeping up to date with our journey. It is hard to believe that we are able to bring God’s tangible word to towns we have never heard of, and many of the villagers themselves find this hard to believe. Pray that we would be able to use their astonishment to point them to the love of Christ and the importance of the Gospel. Also, please pray that God would continue to protect us as we work to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection with all those we encounter during this trip. Thanks again for your support, and may the peace of God be with you.
In Christ, Aaron