Saturday, July 31, 2004

Travelling tips or stories?

Anyone have any tips on travelling? Packing, what to bring, etc.

I'm goin through my wallet tryin to figure out what to take. Should I bring my drivers licence? Health Card? Anyone have any good or bad experiences with laptops and airport security?
It's getting so close that i'm getting all nervous and don't want to forget anything. Any advice? Or even stories about a trip you took. Any info would be helpful.

Athens is ready!

Well if Christians aren't supposed to watch TV, there is always the internet :)

If you want up-to-the-minute info on the olympics just go to www.google.com and type in "athens" or "olympics". You'll see tons of info, but if you click "news" at the top that will show you hot-off-the-press stories about what is happening over in olympic town.

Here's what I found today:

1. Athens declares itself ready for the games - that's right folks. They're ready! So what if it's only 2 weeks before the thing starts...they're ready. Here's a funny quote from the article:
"Defying doomsayers, Greek officials declared that all Olympic venues had finally been finished, even if minor works at some facilities were still going on."

I'd be interested to hear how they define the word "minor". Sure they opened the Olympic village, but what about the Olympic stadium :



Um...mr. olympic organizer, why does it say "Works in progress (July 2004)" under that picture of the stadium?
I dunno folks, do you think it'll be ready by the opening ceremonies?

Friday, July 30, 2004

Olympic blog

Timmy McRogers found this Olympic blog while scouring the web. Looks like a pretty dry run down of the sporting side of the games. If you're so carnal as to actually watch the pagan festival feel free to read that site.
Actually, as I said to the kids at the daycamp, if you are gonna watch the Olympics, please pray for us every time you see a McDonalds commercial! Or any commercial! Just pray! We don't mind! Really! You can watch it! Go ahead, i'll never find out.

Seriously though, there are some Christians who feel that the Olympics is a pagan festival to worship the gods (which in fact is how it started out), but i'm not so sure if that's still the mentality today. What do you think?
Should Christians watch the Olympics? While we're on the topic, should christians watch TV at all?

New Team members

Just found out today that we have 2 new team member on the Cuthill team for Operation Gideo...i mean Gideon ;) That brings out total up to 12.

Fokko & Tineke Feddes are from Holland and will be joining us on the Island of Evia along with their camper and Dutch accent! But...nnnoooo rrrreeeeealllllyyy.....Fokko is a legend in the missionary world. He has worked for many years with OM on their ships Doulos and Logos and was the captain of Hellenic Ministries' boat, The Morning Star for 3 years to train the current skipper Alex Macris:


Fokko & Tineke were on our team last year during campaign and will be a wonderful resource! Welcome to the team!
Anyone out there have any ideas for an initiation? :)

What will we be doing - volume 1

It works in Canada, pray it works the same in Greece!


Some of you have been asking "what exactly will you be doing over in Greece".
The short answer is talking to as many people as we can about Jesus. Sometimes one-on-one, sometimes in groups. Sometimes preaching in the open air, sometimes praying on a park bench. As Colossians 4:5 says we will seek to "make the most of every opportunity".

Here is an example of how we'll do it. Today my wonderful wifey Hayley bought a massive bubble blower super sword at Toys R Us:



The idea was to simply test out a big bubble blower to see how big the bubbles were and see if it would make sense to take one with us to Greece to draw a crowd of children, along with face paint and balloon animals. Basically it was just a test run. So after dinner we were out on the front lawn blowing bubbles, much to the delight of Lukas and Sylas.

However what we did not anticipate is that the neighbourhood kids would think this such an intersting event! What we hoped would happen in Greece happened right on our front lawn!!! First it was Tien, then mindy, then paula one of the neighbourhood moms, then the lady across the street! All stopping to chat and watch as the kids jumped to try and pop the bubbles. We met neighbours we had never met before and got to share the gospel with them as we told them what we would be using the bubble wand for in Greece!!! Praise God who gives us opportunities right under our noses, let's use every one we get!!

Of course this is Canada and so if we get to Greece and the bubble trick doesn't work, we can always use the bubbles to catch the kids in:


Any other ideas for things to do to draw a crowd? Click on comments and let us know!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Archives

A very important concept in blogging is the concept known as "archiving". Basically if you have months and months worth of posts, you don't want them all to show up on your homepage so you "archive" them.

For our little Athens blog here we will be updating the site very frequently (at least once or twice a day - which is why you need to check in often and post comments :)), so only about 10 posts will remain on the main page. Anything older than that will reside in the "archives" section on the left side of the page, under the LINKS. Just in case you were wondering where a post has gone.

So don't worry kiddies your favorite posts have not gone to blog heaven, they are simply tucked under the covers of the archive link, waiting for you to wake them up.

Give it a try, they're waiting for you...

Verse of Encouragement

When I was part of another outreach team earlier on this summer, I was having my quite time one morning when 2 Timothy 4:17 hit me like a brick. It was such an encouragement to me, as I trust it will be to you guy's too.
" But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear."
Thanks to Katie for reminding me;)
Len

No vacation

I just had to post this picture on here:



I kinda feel like Chevy Chase here, except we are not on vacation. I think we are on more of a pilgrimage. For most of us this is a major step for our faith. I think each of us could put ourselves in this picture, with a bible in our hand, but still with "fear and trembling", knowing that God will come through, but nervously waiting to see how He will do it!!! I love it!!! There is nothing like missions!! Everyone reading this needs to go on a missions trip!!

Official Operation Gideon Blog

Gideon-Blog Daily Diary - click here

Check this out folks, Tim Rogers (HM's web guy extrordinaire) has started an official blog to update us all on what is happening in Athens at the HM office.
Three cheers for Tim! Check it out today!


It's starting to hit me

It's finally setting in with me. We're leaving in 6 days. Awesomeness. I was on the phone with my sister yesterday and she said you're going to love it so much you will undoubtedly return in 2005!

I made a funny image from one of my favourite movies of all time, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.I bet you could all learn some sort of obscure lesson from it.


In conclusion, I can't wait.
k.thx.bye

Paul "Dr. Danger" Roides

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Post some comments! We will reply!

When we are over in Greece, the only way we can know that people are reading this site is if people post some "comments" on this site. "Where are these comments", you wonder "and how can I put some on your site?"  Glad you asked :)

Comments come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are questions like "where are you", some are encouragement like "we are praying", and some are simply observations.

Below each post you will see a little line that says something like:

# posted at 4:43 PM Comment (0)

If you click on the word "comments" a little window will pop up where you can actually type in a few "comments" that we can read. Click "post" and your comments will be forever logged in the pages of the athens blog! (this site) 

More importantly, you'll be keeping in touch with us and we can writecha right back!! What a deal. You ask, we answer. You post, we reply. It's like 24/7 online global customer service!

So what are you waiting for...try it right now!
click on the word "comment" directly below and give it a try!! :) 


The spiritual landscape of Greece

THE CROWN OF LIFE - click here

The main area we will be staying while we are in Greece is an island called Evia.

The biggest town on that island is "Halkida" (no connection with Alqueda thankfully :) You'll see it there on the map. Athina is Athens.

This town does have significance for Hayley and I.
Two years ago, when we lived in Greece, myself and Aris Angelakopoulous spoke at an Evangelical church in Halkida. We met a wonderful young pastor named John. He was doing a fine job and the place was packed with young people. Hopefully I can post a few pictures of the meeting, but John was gracious enough to translate everything I was saying from English into Greek for the congregation.

When Hayley and I decided on Evia as our island for our Operation Gideon team we wanted to get in touch with this church that we had briefly visited only 2 years ago. Sadly we discovered that our dear friend John had passed away just a few months ago.

For those of you who do not know the evangelical layout of the land, this is a huge loss. In Greece there are only 0.15% evangelicals (15,000). That's the whole country. Very limited resources, workers, evangelists and pastors. Evia itself has only 2 or 3 churches on the entire island. The loss of a young pastor is devestating and so as you read this say a prayer for John's family, his wife and children and the evangelical churches in Greece. Perhaps some day you might want to think about helping out this needy region of the 10/40 window.

Irish Eyes

G'day (typical Irish Greeting)
This day next week all you guy's will have arrived in my native & beloved country, the Emerald Isle.


Some have you have been here before, & I'm looking forward to seeing you guy's again. But to my future friends, I extend the biggest welcome. My house is no stranger to Canadians!


Guess I'll see you thursday morning.
Len

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Posting pics

Well, now that I know how to post pictures like this one: there is no stopping us!! We'll be able to post pictures of our athenian antics so you can get up to the minute reports of how we're doing. Pictures of Paul with his IPod, pictures of Veronica with her IPod, pictures of Channa singing, pictures of Danielle giving out bibles, pictures of Melanie on a train, pictures of Linda at the games, pictures of Len with his guitar , pictures of Shawn and Sylas , pictures of Hayley , pictures pictures hooray!

If only Tim Rogers (http://www.netrogers.com/timpt.html) was on our team :(
Oh well, i'll just post the tag line for posting pics here incase I forget:

(tag = < img src = " http : // www. something. com " > )

chow for now,
Shawn


Olympic security

Greece "fully prepared" for Olympic challenge: Greek PM - click here for full story 

Well you heard it here first folks (unless you heard it somewhere else). The Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Karamanlis, says that the Greeks are not just ready, but "absolutely ready" to handle terrorists at the olympics. And if they aren't, they'll have six  Patriot missiles  ready to shoot down any plane hijackers that try to fly a plane into the OTE building :)

Seriously though, these guys have spent billions upon billions (the most ever of any olympic city says - http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5490540/) you all can rest assured that the Greeks, or whoever they have hired will keep us safe. Sleep tight team moms. Every time you wake up wondering if your beloved son or daughter is safe, just think of this menacing Greek police officer keeping us safe: 




Nighty night,
Shawn

Monday, July 26, 2004

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games

Just playin around today with the "blog this" feature on the google toolbar. Fun stuff. Got the new laptop up and running with Adobe Photoshop so our team graphic artist/blog specialist Paul can hook yous all up with some sweet images when we're overseas. I am constantly amazed at how much of a "team" player God is. All the different members of the "body of Christ" coming together at just the right times to fullfill his great commission. Some giving, some praying, some working on graphics, some blogging, some with digital cameras, some who can sing, some who can play guitar...on and on and on. He provides all the right people for the job and all we need to do is obey him and GO into all the world.  God can only work with willing hearts so I'm just really thankful today for those of you who have decided in some way to be part of the team.

Speaking of teams, the Toronto portion of the team did an outstanding job last night at Bridlegrove Bible Chapel (www.bridlegrove.com) presenting our trip. "The jacket of sin" went way better than i expected!
Good job guys!

Chow for now,
Shawn



Sunday, July 25, 2004

:-)

It's pretty cool that people from all over the world, with different languages and cultures, can come together in one common bond.  I pray that everyone involved is feeling blessed by this opportunity....thanks to all involved, for answering the call to go out and tell the world, the wonderful message of salvation!!
-M-

Saturday, July 24, 2004

HAYLEY - Everyone's Paid Up

I still can't beleive it as i sit here and type.  Everyone on our team has experienced a miracle.  God worked through the hearts and hands of His children to meet our needs.  As of yesterday, July 23, 2004 everyone has the money needed to embark on our cross- Europe Trek taking us to Greece for the Olympics.  Through hard work and prayer and yes a few doubts we have seen the money come in.  Often in ways we never expected.  Each team member required $4,000 canadian... that's a grand total of $36,000 Dollars in 6 months.  I've seen God provide for things like this before but still I'm blown away by how it's all happened.  From car wash upon car wash to Gospel concerts selling Jamaican patties.  Gifts from friends, family, and people we've never even met.  One generosity I'll never forget is the kindness of the Greek Evangelical Church here in Toronto.  I was brought to tears by their prayers and humbled by their giving spirit.  The support we've received from Bridlegrove reminds us we do not go out alone.  We are accompanied by many prayers.  And will come home to open arms ready to rejoice with us over what the Lord has done.  This whole experience of trusting God to meat our needs has prepared my heart for the even greater blessings that are to come.  Not blessings in the form of money; Blessings in the form of saved souls  and changed lives.  I can't wait!     
                     -hayley



Thursday, July 22, 2004

Time Change

I just changed the time/date feature on the blog to reflect local Athens time.
Athens time is GMT +2. What does that mean? Glad you asked :)

GMT is Grenich Mean Time (England) it is the standard for the world
* Toronto is GMT -5
* PEI is GMT - 4

So basically Athens is 7 hours ahead of Toronto, 6 hours ahead of PEI etc. etc.

So at the bottom of this post there should be a time/date. That is the local time in Athens when I click "post". This will give you all a better idea of what life is like "on the ground" in Greece!

chow for now,
Shawn

Worldwide prayer coverage

It's so nice when someone says "I'm praying for you".
It's even nicer when someone that you have never met is praying for you.

Today I got in the mail our "Operation Gideon" see - www.operationgideon.org - info pack on our Island "EVIA"

More info on Evia available at: http://www.operationgideon.org/evia2.html

Inside this package was a letter stating that the "Free Evangelical Church of Australia" had "adopted" our island for prayer! Also a lady from Australia named Joanna Komninoglou is praying! Three Cheers for the Ausies!

Wow! It's amazing to think that people who don't even know us are praying for us!
Hopefully those of you that DO know us will be praying too :)

chow for now,

Sunday at Bridlegrove

When: Sunday
Who: Athens team
Where: Bridlegrove - 6:30PM
What: Presentation on Greece trip
Why: Cause people praying is the most important part of the trip :)

I'll be calling you today to talk about it.
Let's do the same format as the we did at the Greek church (except no translation this time :)
Be at our place around 3 on Sunday.
Chow for now

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Where we are staying?

Today is a good day.
First, we just got back from PEI last night and I was dreading the mountain of paperwork, calls and emails awaiting us.

However I received an email today from Sarah Wheway
saying that we are booked to stay at the Hotel Kentrikon!!


Here's a taste of the luxury ;)

Air Conditioning
Breakfast Included
Internet Access
Laundry
Linen Included
Towels
Security Lockers
Luggage Storage
Children Friendly
Telephone/Fax Facilities
24 Hour Reception
Travel Desk/Travel Info

Check out the info, there are pics of the rooms. More soon






2 weeks and counting

Hello everyone, my name is Shawn and I created this blog for myself and my team who are going to the Olympics in Athens from August 4th to September 2nd. I figured a blog would be the best way to tell everyone what we are doing, and keep everyone updated whilie we are overseas.
Be sure to check in OFTEN to get up-to-the-minute prayer requests.