I just returned from a 10 day missions trip to Thessaloniki, Greece. 12 of us from Calvary went to work with Tony and Jamie Sebastian (www.becominggreek.com) and their ministry there in the city. Although we were thrown a few curve balls, we had an amazing trip. In fact, the curve balls opened up the door for us to do a lot more kinds ministry than we were expecting.
In addition to doing some work on the coffee shop Tony and Jamie are opening within the next few months, we also worked with the A21 Campaign (www.TheA21Campaign.org). A21 works to fight human trafficking…the second largest organized crime in the world. The ladies on our team had the opporunity to spend a fun filled day hanging out with several girls from the A21 shelter who had been rescued out of human trafficking. The entire team spent one morning passing out free water and literature in different parts of the city to raise awareness of A21’s presence.
Our team also checked out a young adult’s group called Connect. There Pastor Brigham was able to share some insights on ministering to young adults. Pastor Brigham was also able to speak at a local church on Sunday morning as well.
The whole team was a part of reaching out to a local Gypsy camp. In the morning we did a VBS style service, and in the evening we hosted a mini-Carnival for the kids. In fact, we did the carnival twice, the second time on a different night for another group of kids back in the city.
On top of all this we did a lot more, including some street evangelism. I think the entire team found it much easier than they expected to simply walk up to a complete stranger and start a conversation. Two team members ended up having an hour long conversation with someone they met that night!
All of this to say we had an amazing week! I was certainly glad to catch up with Tony and Jamie, who are two good friends. To meet their boys, Brady and Mac. To also meet Andrea Britton (http://andrea-britton.com/), who serves as a missionary associate to Tony and Jamie and coordinates the study abroad program (http://engage-greece.com/). And to meet Rachel Lojovich (http://www.rachellojovich.blogspot.com/) intern, and our faithful guide from Athens to Thessaloniki.
I am sure there will be more pictures and thoughts on the trip to come, so stay tuned.