February 27, 2013

project thessalonica: the first couple days

For those of you who don't know, I'm in Thessaloniki, Greece on a missions trip with Tim and Karen, Dan and Brandi Jones, and Rachel. We'll be here for two weeks helping out missionary Brent Logan and his family with... whatever they need help doing! I'm supposed to be posting these updates on the official website, Project Thessalonica, but sometimes there's a delay between my posting and the website's administrator getting the posts up. Aaaand... I know we have peeps at home waiting to hear from us so I'm posting here as well. No delays. These posts are a journal. You'll be getting as much detail as I can remember. Also, we have a friend back home, Bro. Lowell, who really, really wanted to be able to come on this trip, and has been praying for this project ever since it started. But he's really sick with cancer and wasn't able to make it. So these posts are mostly for you, Bro. Lowell! I hope you enjoy reading all about Greece!

Hi! We made it to Greece! It took a long time to get here. We left Monday morning, and got here Tuesday afternoon. But then Tuesday afternoon here is like Monday night in Idaho. I think. I'm mostly confused about the time difference.
We had a really long layover in Denver and pretty much camped out at the airport. Buuut, praise God, on the long overnight flight from Denver to Frankfurt, we were able to get a row of seats to ourselves! We stretched out! We slept! We watched movies. We ate my really squished Fig Newtons that aren't actually fig at all, they're peach. We were so happy about getting all those seats! And when we finally landed in Greece, all the people on the plane clapped. I totally agreed with them. Applause seemed like a good thing at that point. I was happy to see land.

Dan brought this "bomb case" as his carry on bag. We got alot of looks. Tim said he felt safer sleeping with "The Case" as protection.

Anyway, we arrived and Bro. Logan and Angelo met us at the airport.
Angelo has an Australian accent. Like, down under accent. Like, I can't understand half of what he's saying because I only speak American and never learned Australian. And now we're all like, Want to take a little walk-a-bout? Go throw this in the rubbish bin, yo. But he's the nicest guy ever and has been really, super helpful. He's a lot like Dan and Brandi, he has a servants heart. 

How we all looked and felt upon arrival...

Bro. Logan took us out letterboxing yesterday morning.
First of all, the driving in Greece is CRAZY! Seriously. Everybody parks any old way, and drives any old way, and you pretty much just hang on for your life. And Bro. Logan has apparently learned their ways. He had us driving the wrong way on a one way street... up a hill... on a very curvy, twisty road. And he was like, Oh well. No biggie. And I was like, I would like my mother now. And Angelo was like, Good thing you guys can't speak Greek because those people driving past us aren't asking to be your pal. 
Anyway, we made it to the top of the hill in one piece, started sticking little Bibles in all the letterboxes,then  a German Shepherd tried to jump a gate and eat my hand, I ran for my life, it started raining after about 30 minutes, Bro Logan came and picked us all up, and we called it a day. And then we drove the right way back down the hill. Much to my relief and happiness and peace of heart.

After that, we went to exchange our American money for Euros, get lunch, and see a couple of things around town.
Oh. my. word. The stuff we got for lunch. Be still my heart. It was delish. It was heaven. I have no idea what it was called, and if I did I probably wouldn't spell it right, but it was so good. It was like these flaky little pastry thingys filled with spinach, cream, cheese, ham, and whatever else you wanted. And for dessert there were more flaky pastry thingys filled with sweet cream and rolled in powdered sugar. I died. And rose from the dead to eat more. And we went to Starbucks too! Gotta have coffee, man.

It was amazing to see such old structures right in the middle of town. 
This is the Temple of Zeus and the Arch of Galerius. 

Look at the doors! I love old stuff!

Most of the buildings are white. It's so lovely to look over the city and just see white

And then you'll see pops of color like this!

And last night, we had Bible study at the Logan's church. It was so cool! Bro. Logan preached and Angelo translated. Occasionally, they would switch it up and Bro.Logan would start speaking Greek and Angelo would switch to English. The singing was in both languages. There were a few other people there. There was one older gentleman there (who's name I can neither pronounce nor spell so we just called him Marcus) who spoke English and who knew more about Idaho than I do. And I live in Idaho. He told Karen and I a few interesting facts about Idaho, told us about his family (his son Alex was there with him), told us about one time he took a 45 day tour of North and South America, and then he gave us a hug and patted our faces. I loved him. And he sings wonderfully! Bro. Lowell, you would have loved to listen to him singing with Bro. Logan!

To sum it up:
I love it here. Everyone sleeps in and takes a nap in the afternoon. Why wasn't I born here?
I love the pastry thingys.
There are so many more people here than I expected. Thousands upon thousands. It seems overwhelming to think of all the people Bro. Logan hasn't even had a chance to reach yet. And he's out there pretty much every day, reaching as many as he can. I'm so happy to be here helping. They need all the help they can get.
Everyone here wears black and our clothes stick out. It's like, we might as well wear a name tag that says tourist across our chests.
The people don't laugh much. But they're very affectionate! I saw so many people holding hands, kissing each other, and just walking arm in arm.
Bro. Logan really wants to be able to do a tract mail out. You could pray that he's able to. He could reach so many more people that way.
And this box of rubber bands was here at the mission house. It gave us all a good laugh:

Bubber bands. Also known as rubber bands in America.

We're supposed to go out on the big town square today with Bro. Logan and Angelo and do some street preaching and pass out tracts. 

We love you all, and miss everyone!

All Us