February 28, 2013

project thessalonica:the day we were taken

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!

What. the. heck.
Before we left for Greece, Rachel and I got a lot (and by a lot, I mean like, seriously a ton) of warnings that if the two of us weren't careful, we would be taken by kidnappers and sold on ebay. And people gave us all sorts advice and warnings on how to behave ourselves in order not to be taken:
Don't talk to strangers.
Don't go out after dark.
Don't tell anyone where you're staying.
Don't accept drinks from anyone.
Don't smile at men.
Don't look at men.
Don't acknowledge men's existence.
Wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact.

And then everyone told us to, Bring home a husband!

Geez Louise.  Mostly we'd like to just enjoy Greece and Italy, thank you very much.
Anyway, I found it ironic that after all those warnings, Dan and Brandi were the ones who got taken today, not Rachel and I.
Only they didn't get sold on ebay. For which we are very grateful.

It went down like this:
Today we all went out street preaching and passing out tracts.
It was cold! And the people weren't very smiley or receptive. They do this look-down-jerk-my-head-up- don't-smile thing. The younger people were nicer though and we had a few stop and want to talk. At which point I'm like, DO YOU SPEAK AMERICAN? BECAUSE THAT'S ALL I KNOW. Angelo speaks the language the best so he actually gets to talk to the people quite a bit. And there's another guy here, Kayode (ki-uh-day), a Nigerian from London who speaks the language a little too. Kinda funny. We have a Greek from Australia, and a Nigerian from London. And then us from Idaho. All helping the Logans from Alabama. Quite the conglomeration.

Rachel and Brandi

Dan and Bro. Logan 

 Karen ran into these girls from Iceland. They were Christian girls. In Greece. On a missions trip too!

 Kayode, doing his thing with an English accent.

 Bro. Logan and Angelo

Anyway, it was cold, and right about the time I decided I was thoroughly miserable, I heard a commotion going on over with the rest of the group and somebody was saying, get your passports out. So I ran over and there was this one guy in a black coat getting all up in Bro. Logan's grill. And Bro. Logan was getting right back into that guy's bidness. And then Angelo came over and was like, Greek, Greek, Greek. But judging by his tone of voice, he was saying, Let's all be friends here.
But the next thing I knew, there were literally 20 cops surrounding us and we were being herded down the road to the police station. And I was like, This is fun! It's like, for real Greece! We're getting arrested for no reason! And Rachel was like, Shut up Sunny Jane. This isn't a joke. In my defense, I'd like to say I wasn't worried about it all because I figured God could handle it and we'd be fine. So I enjoyed myself.

Rachel used her artistic skills to draw up a little dramatic reenactment for your entertainment:

At first there was one guy yelling...

And then there were several...

And then, suddenly...

Anyway, turns out there were some undercover cops out there, and Angelo gave one of them a tract. He got offended and told us to leave the country. Then another undercover cop came along. Then they wanted our passports. And then, some of us had our cameras out and oh my gosh, the earth stopped twirling. Apparently they have a deep seated fear of having their pictures taken. That's when the yelling started and the arresting commenced and the swat teams were sent out and we all thought we might be executed. Except me. I thought it was a great adventure. Sorry. I apologize for looking on the bright side.
Then they took Bro. Logan, Kayode, Dan and Brandi, and Angelo into custody and left the rest of us standing there for a couple of hours. And then they were like,  Oh well. Whatever. See ya. And let them go.
And then we went and ate tons of Greek food to celebrate everybody's release from the Greek prison dungeon.

And then me and Brandi did a little ring-around-the-rosies:

And on the drive home, lots of crazy Greek drivers attempted to kill us and each other.
It was an eventful day. I loved it.

All Us