Tuesday, August 31, 2004

In Ireland

Not sure how much internet access we will have while we're here, but we're safe and sound on the emerald isle.

Monday, August 30, 2004

On the road again

Well folks, we are off today on our homeword trek. Greece, Italy, England, Ireland. Won't be in touch for a few days so please pray for us as we travel.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Thank you



From all of us here on the team, to all of you who prayed and supported us every step of the way - Thank you.
We can feel your support through your prayers and we can't explain how priceless that is.
As a thank you gift, we wanted to make something special, so above is a picture of our island "Evia". Feel free to print it out as a thank you from all of us.

Photography- Shawn Cuthill
Digital Editing - Paul Roides

Thanks
Paul Roides

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Worship JAM-bo-Ree!!!

It's time to rock folks, tonight is the big worship celebration of all that the Lord has done. Stories, testimonies, pictures, music, prayer, preaching, bible reading, world flags around the building! We are going to celebrate what the Lord has done from noon till midnight! Then again tomorrow from noon till midnight!
Help us by thanking God for all he has done and giving Him the glory he deserves. There is a festive atmosphere in the air, reminiscent of the Old Testament Feasts! May He get the glory

Friday, August 27, 2004

Video 1

Big thanks to Keith Sparrow for hooking us up with a site to post our videos on.
Here is video #1:

Ireland/UK:
Danielle & Channa in airport: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/danielle%20channa.AVI
Airport crowd: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/airport%20stanstead.AVI

Italy:
At the Vatican: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/vatican%202.AVI
Short video of how windy our ferry ride was: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/ferry.AVI
First video of the packed van ride to the ferry in Italy: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/full%20van%201.AVI
Second video of the packed van ride in Italy: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/full%20van%20to%20Bari.AVI
Final video of packed van ride in Italy: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/full%20van%20.AVI
At the Colleseum: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/rome%201.AVI


Greece:
Acropolis: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Acropolis%201.AVI
Acropolis 2: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Acropolis%20from%20evripidou.AVI
Greek Gaurds 1:
Riding the Metro: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/metro.AVI

Church in Halkida: Sunday Service - http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Halkida%20church%20service.AVI
Halkida church 1: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Halkida%20Evangelical%20church%201.AVI
Halkida church 2:

Agia Anna, the town we stayed in northern evia: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Agia%20Anna.AVI
Pefki beach: http://sparrownest.com/athens/Videos/Pefki.AVI



Enjoy! More on the way

Shopping days = fun

Well today is the long awaited 27th of August, the absolutely FREE day to explore Athens and do as we please.

Veronica and the birthday girl Mel bought tickets for the men's volleyball semi-finals and blew some euros on clothes and such.

Channa and Danielle bought USA Semi-final basketball tickets for a ludicrous 80 euros, which is worth it for the match they are seeing.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with some relatives of mine then traveling to the main Olympic complex for some architectural photography. Along with Len, we got passed 2 sets of armed guards, solely for the purpose of photography. Amazing.

Shawn Hayley and Sylas went to Monnestiraki for some shopping fun.

Len was kind of all over the place, but he joined me to see the Olympic stadium. He is now practising for the worship session tonight.

In conclusion, a special note to parents - wire some money to your kids! We need it for gifts for you.

k.thx.bye

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Updates galore

<-- NEW PICTURES - CLICK ON LINK

You'll notice over the next few days that the post are fast and furious! We are back in Athens with unlimited Wireless internet! I will be posting as many pictures as I can in the next few days so hang tight and click on the link to the pictures! Keep checking back cause we are trying to also post videos! Took us 2 hours last night but we still couldn't figure out how to do it. Pray for us and keep checking in frequently for more pictures, stories, videos and reports to help praise our God for the great things He has done!

test: www.netsoc.ucd.ie/~oneup/Agia Anna1.AVI

Adventures in Halkida

Well, what can I say? It was a long strenious trip to the island of Evia. We took an excrutiating air-conditioned, reclining seat, train ride for 2 and half an hours. (Just for those of you who didn't get the joke, it wasn't bad). But anyways, i believe it was on the fourth day of being on the island (City Halikida), we did another round of handing out literature. But first I must tell you a little something from the day before... my awsome buddy Mel and I were handing out bibles, then Mel spotted an apartment and decided to distribute bibles there so, I continued on, but out of the blue this lady comes up to me and asks me if I was a Jehovah. Of course i replied "No." Then she gives me a nasty look and walks away and calls me a Jehovah anyways. People these days. So back to the next day, Shawn and I decided to buddy up for a little literature round-a-bouting. Shawn spots a nice teenager boy watching the ol' tube, he hands a bag through a balcony. Then catch this, out of no where the bag flies out of the window, along with a rather not so nice looking foot. Guess who?

The lady from the day before! Surprised?!! Well at least Shawn was because read closely, after the foot came, then, oh yes you better believe it... the HAND!!! She gave him a very fierce slap across the head! His hat practically pulling a triple axile. If i was not to witness this first act of harsh punishment, i would've been next because her hand was dancing a pretty nice tango around my head. I fortunalty didn't get hit as well. But please pray for this extremely couragous
women as she lives on with out knowing the gospel and love of Jesus Christ, but of only creepy priests who never shave. Just kidding, (well about the priest anyways). But all things good come to those who wait,and we had pretty good reception after that. Well that's what I have for you all back home, where ever home
really is... I love you all! A. Susan O you rock!! Thank you so much for the post, it made me feel very happy! Well Peace out. Easy.

Veronica

P.S. Mel's Mom, Mel is so having a birthday tomorrow! she's full of bologna!

Back in Athens

Shawn here, we just arrived back in Athens and are recovering before a time of sharing with the other 30 teams. More stories and pictures very soon. Thank you one and all for your prayers, the battle is over, now the celebration begins!!!

we're baaaack..in Athens

Well first...THANK YOU..to all our friends and family back home, whom have been praying for us!!! Your prayers were very much appreciated!!!
We have just returned from up north in Aghios Anna and Pefki and many small towns in between!
We stayed (camping style) with a wonderful family up in Aghios Anna. Christina and her husband and family fed us all like royalty and stayed up each night, anxiously awaiting our return from each day of evangelism. We shared stories of conversations and people to pray for!
Divine appointments abounded!! Paul took on a Professor of Theology, I spoke to an Agnostic from France (yeah French town) and scared the begeebees outta him ;-) Channa and Danielle (I believe that was the partnership) had a wonderful encounter too..and I will let them tell you about that...don't wanna steal anyone's thunder..I am just proud of em all!!!!
We went into this one town where I swore was 100% tourists and I thought for sure people would blow us off...BUT the Lord is GOOD...people came up to us and asked for bags of literature!!
The stories were amazing!! We met the "Prophet Elias" hmmmmm interesting..crazy yes, but interesting! I tangled with some thorny vines..they won!
We went to the hot springs in Adipsos and I EVEN SWAM IN THE OCEAN!
Shawn and Hayley did an awesome job of being our fearless/prayerful leaders! And Linda did a great job at driving and keeping all safe :-)
There are soo many people that we talked to and that need prayers! The Greek people are incredibly hospitable and the land is beautiful. Please pray for Max (the Agnostic from France) and Thimios (the man from the internet cafe in Halkida...I did have a talk with him and I know THAT was a divine appointment..PLEASE pray for him as the seeds were sown into his heart!)
I miss my family and friends...thank you soooooo much for all your love and support! And to let you know..I am not having a birthday this year...maybe next year ;-)
LOVE, Melanie

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Amazingness

First of all, sorry for te lack of updates this week. We left our Internet haven in favour of smaller towns. But it was a worthy sacrifice. These past few days have been our most succesful yet. On our way to Agios Anna, we stopped in every small town we could to lighten our load of literature. The results were incredible.

This one town's orthodox church had a decaying body in the middle, which was apparently some man who they worship as a saint and whose body is indestructable. It honestly FELT like satan's stronghold. We were met with some harsh opposition in that town ( Police were called ) We actually got the argument on video which i hope you will all one day see. But the amount of literature that we've passed out during the last 48 hours is breathtaking, just like the views of the sea from the mountains we drive through.

We met one lady, who we will vist again later tonight ,who was absoleutly DESPERATE for the Lord. It was the one point that my translation felt the strongest it had ever been. Mel told me about the prayers from her Mom's church. Thank you so much.

Pray for tonight that we'll be able to reach this woman for good. Now off to distribute some more literature.

Paul Roides

Monday, August 23, 2004

Up North

Well folks, it's Shawn here on the wireless connection for probably the last time in a while. This morning we are picking up 2 rental cars and driving up north to Agia Anna, Pefki, Limni and Edipsos to give them the gospel too. A lady named Christina and her wonderful family have offered for us to stay with them up there, and so today we are on our way. Please pray for us:
1. Travelling - driving in Greece can be difficult - Linda & I will be the drivers
2. Contacts - as we drive up we will be dropping off literature
3. Decisions - lost souls for Christ, and some team members for decisions to serve God as missionaries in the future

Here are a few final pictures from the laptop...i guess you could pray for internet access while we're up north :)

Danielle with the empty boxes of bibles. A few stories here:
1. A lady refused a packet from Paul yesterday because "her friend called her and warned her about us". Seems word is spreading that the "heretics" are in town :) We were able to give out over 600 packs in one day.
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We were able to share at the Evangelical church on Sunday. I spoke, we sang as a group and then Channa rocked the house as usual :)
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We love you all and are exceedingly thankful for your participation with us in the gospel!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The latest muahahaha

Well I should first say, HELLO MYRA AND ROGER!!! Mom, I did not nor cannot find their comment could you forward it to me??
It is the last night in Halkida.
Interesting point to note for this evening...
Veronica and myself went out to evangelize. There were simple rules to follow and we managed to break them all...NOT intentionally!
1) Girls stick to preaching to females
We ran into a few men who happened to come from Egypt and Albania...well Veronica speaks a bit of Arabic and I happen to understand some French and Itlaian. The Lord provided us with eager listeners who just happened to be Arabic/English and French!
It was an amazing time..and I even encouraged the French speaking man to get in contact with Hellenic ministries and request French material! He understood the concept of salvation and says it is something that he wants :-)

2) Don't go down dark alley ways
Veronica felt led down an alley and we ran into a small group of men and they were sitting outside a cafe...the owner gave us Coca Cola and we had a discussion with them. They also just happened to speak..Arabic/Italian and French! They were interested and said they knew of others who would appreciate literature. We were able to distribute about seven packages to them alone..they read through the literature and were very pleased!

It was a very eventful evening and it was as much uplifting to us as it was to those we witnessed to...we had our prayers answered..AND the Lord took care of the language barriers! Hooray for living in a French community ;-)

Tonight also held much team bonding and we each built eachother up and I believe that did help us as we each went into the evening!

Love you all and miss you all loads! Thank you so much for all the responses..I can't stress enough how much I am thankful for each of you :-)
By the way..each time we come to the internet cafe there is a particular worker here who I have been talking to..I just gave him a literature packet and he very happily accepted it! Here is praying to the Lord encouraging his heart to read the literature and accept it's truths!

Love, Melanie

Wireless for a minute!

Hey folks, Shawn here. I just this moment got a wireless internet connection so I wanted to post some pictures of our island Evia! I have also updated the statistics to the left, as we handed out at least 600 olympic packs with bibles! Thank you for praying!

PICTURES MOVED TO PICTURE SITE

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Hello Timmins Peeps :-)

Thank you for praying for all of us! I am very thankful and feel very loved to hear so many comments from friends and family! Our team is very much appreciative!
Love you Spud...Happy Birthday to Amanda if you are reading this!
Last night was the first night of proclaiming the gospel in dramatic form (here)and Len did wicked with his guitar playing and Channa with her vocals!
We did balloon animals and attracted quite a crowd! There even were a few conversations..however, the language barrier is an issue..but the Lord can use us in whatever way he chooses..so GO LORD GO!!
Today, we went door to door handing out literature and that went very well..the fruits of the labour will be seen one day!
The heat could have wrecked us, however we made it..through the Lord's grace! This is the best weight loss program ever ;-)
I love and miss my family and am thankful always for your prayers and love!
Everyone else out there checking out these posts...THANK YOU!!! It is awesome to hear that our blog is being read by people all over..SPREAD THE WORD!!!
LOVE YA!!
Melanie

Friday, August 20, 2004

PHASE TWO: PROCLAMATION

Today we started evangelism with the usual 56.7 km hike to the Greek Evangelical Church here in Halkitha to pick up some literature for tonight's proclamation evangelism.

With butterflies in our stomach but the Lord on our minds, we hit the streets. We always feel like contestants on Fear Factor as they walk to their next objective- except instead of competing $50 000, we compete with Satan for the souls of the lost. Man that sounds epic and in essence, it is.

Isaiah 58 teaches the foundation of fasting. One of God's requirements during the experience is to give your meal to those cannot afford it. Today, some Greek gypsy chidren were approached by the team. We asked them what they'd like from the local fast food store. After we took their orders, they followed us and wanted to spent some time with us! They watched the premier performance of "The Jacket of Sin" while clutching onto their balloon animals made by Veronica. Everyone has a purpose on our team and it's great to see that God gave everyone a job.

We started PHASE TWO: PROCLAMATION at 9pm, knowing that dozens of other teams were doing the same at the same time, a feeling of empowerment. ( Jonathan's brilliant idea ) The first spot we found was by the salty waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a truly scenic location. Although the restaurants blared their music louder than usual, we went on with the program and were met with minial crowds. We were somewhat discouraged and went to look for an alternate location to win some souls.

We ended up in this platia loaded with children who flocked to Veronica and the gang for balloon animals. When we perfomed "The Jacket of Sin," they stuck around to watch and ALL wanted literature packets! We gave out all 40 tonight- a huge encouragement. The team then gathered for a huddle where we thanked God for our success. This left us with a feeling of accomplishment and a great end to the night.

I would like to bring forward a request for prayer right now. I am responsible for the translation of Shawn's messages. My Greek is very limited when it comes to translating. I have the words in my head as I understand them when they are spoken to me. But when it comes to accessing them for my own use, I come up blank. It's like they are encrypted files inside my head. Shawn is somewhat forced to dumb down his messages for translation. This was semi-acceptable today as the crowds consisted mainly of chilren, but when we deal with a adults, this will not suffice. So here's the deal:

TOMORROW : 2PM ( for Canadians ) PRAY FOR THE KEY TO THOSE WORDS IN MY HEAD! I know that God can accomplish anything and we desperately need this. Pray hard! Pray with all your strength! Pray without ceasing!

Paul Roides

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fasting = Over

The fast is over. 3 cheers for that. We learned a lot through it, though, and most of the team members plan to do it again.

We've taken to eating the same things at the same restaurants everyday. When the price is right, it's most definitely right. We eat very well for under 5 euros. In the Greek culture, eating the same thing 3 nights in a row is a GOOD thing!

We were met with some confusion today in our plans to evangalize this island. First, we were met with the authoritative ways of the Dutch sea captain, Foko, who scolded us for being 20 minutes late for our meeting. He was even mad when I suggested that he calm down and forget about it. Strange character that Foko. We are still deciding whether to stay here in Halkitha, a large city, or go to a smaller town in accordance with Hellenic Ministries wishes. If our choice was the latter, we would be forced to leave our hostel, rent 2 sub-compact automobiles, and head up north. It would be as those cheesy Christian books say "breaking our comfort zone." But hey! Who am I to screw with God's plans! If he wants us to pack up and head north, so be it!

For those of you who are a little confused at the schedule, here's a breakdown.

3 days of prayer and fasting ( completed )
3 days of proclamation evangelism ( starting tomorrow )
3 days of literature distribution ( we have approximately 1500 )


This may be switched around so we can distribute literature to Halkitha. Keep praying. Pray especially for rest... One of those insanely heavenly rests that you get when you sleep for like 56 hours after getting a massage and eating your favourite meal.

In conclusion, bye.


Paul Roides

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Arrival in Evia

We're here settled in our island of Evia, although it doesn't feel much like an Island. It's more of a large body of land connected to the mainland by San Francisco-like bridges. Pretty cool. Our "hostel" which is more like a ghetto hotel, is actually pretty nice; much better than a campground. We're surrounded by an awesome bakery and an internet cafe. What more could we ask for?

Today is our day of fasting, although we ate breakfast and are planning on eating dinner. I know what you skeptics are thinking, " That's not much of a fast. They are infidels!"...but we spent nearly 4 hours in study of God's word and in prayer on the steps of Evia's largest Orthodox church which overlooks the city of Halkida and that's whats most important. We plan on doing the same tommorow. It's a great way to focus. When hunger kicks in, you focus on God, then grab a litre of Fanta.

Getting pictures and videos online is going to be alot more difficult here on the island. In Athens, Shawn's laptop had access to the net. Here in Evia, it doesn't. This means that we need to look into alternative ways to get items off his hard drive and onto the blog. We apoligize for this as we know how much joy the pictures bring you. We do however, have a picture from the final day of Operation Gideon where we were commisioned.

That's all for today. Continue praying.


Paul Roides

Monday, August 16, 2004

For the Sword of the Lord and for Greece

Yesterday was the "commissioning" service. Peter Grant preached on the 2 crowns in the Bible, the one a king receives, and the one a victor receives, like the ones they are using in the Olympics this year! What a great illustration of the crowns we receive from the Lord! Next we gathered in a circle and had communion, then every team came up and was prayed for inside the circle. Then each team leader was given a "crown":


Quite a night!
Please pray today as we travel to our island to begin our ten days of outreach!
We hope to have internet access at our hostel, so pray we can update the site! Sorry for the famine of posts yesterday. Blogger wasn't co-operating with us.

Shawn Cuthill

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Thanks for Praying

Hello folks, I know it's Sunday today and so hopefully alot of people will be praying! Just wanted to publicly say thank you to everyone who has posted comments, printed updates for churches or emailed. We are very grateful for your prayers! We are just starting the battle, as we head our to our island tomorrow! Please maintain the amazing prayer support! We love you all - Shawn for the team

Saturday, August 14, 2004

How Bizzare

First and foremost, check out the Photo Blog for a killer update.

Today was the usual except there was a Delerious concert in the platia of Omonia. Imagine, a British band rocking out in downtown Athens. How bizzare. The Greeks were dancing to the beats and the Christians were doing the obligatory "raise hand to the heavens and close eyes."

Along with momentous occasion, we met the Pakistani AND Indian Olympic squads. The Pakistani squad gratefully accepted our literature while the Indian squad danced the platia in drunken patriatism.



We then hit the "Prayer House of Athens" which has a wicked view of the Acropolis.




What's even funnier ( for Mom and Dad ) is that I ran into Argyris ( who was the pastor of our church for years )I saw him and I asked if his name was Argyris and he gave me a hug! Awesomeness. Crazy that you can meet someone just out of nowhere. 3 cheers for Jesus. In conclusion, keep praying.

Paul Roides

Friday, August 13, 2004

Channa and Len rock the house!

Well folks, as promised, here is a recap of yesterday and a look forward to what you can pray for today.

RECAP: Yesterday seemed like an all day prayer meeting. We had a meeting in the morning where Len and Channa sang "Power of your love" and brought everyone to tears:

,

Then in the evening we watched the opening ceremonies and prayed for each country as they walked into the olympic stadium. Len prayed for Ireland. Channa prayed for Jamaica. What a thrill!

,

It was amazing to be there praying as the world watched. We discovered the whole thing is wrapped up in pagan worship of Zeus, like the song they sang before raising the flag and lighting the torch is a "hymn to zeus"! Here are the words, translated from Greek:

(To Zeus)
Ancient immortal spirit, unsullied father of that which is beautiful, great & true.
Descend, make thyself known and shine hero on this earth, and below these skies witness thy glory.

Illuminate the endeavor of the noble contestants in the running, the wrestling and the throwing. Place a wreath of evergreen branch, creating the body as of iron and worthy.

Vales, mountains and oceans shine with thee like unto a great temple of white and porphyry to which all peoples hasten to this temple to WORSHIP THEE, oh ancient immortal spirit.

Crazy stuff

TODAY:

We will be heading to Athens again to do outreach near Omonia square. HM has a "prayer house" (evripidou hall) done up so we can pray more. Then at 9:30 there is a free concert by the Christian group "Delirious" in Omonia square in downtown athens with testimonies from athletes. Should be a great, but late, night. Please pray for our endurance.

SPECIAL NOTE FROM PAUL - Don't forget to check out the brand spanking new picture blog for all your photographic needs. Check the link above the stats.


Love you all,
Shawn
Athens Blog Pictures

URL is athensblogphotos.blogspot.com

The picture blog is a place for those who'd like more picture from out adventures. Although the main site does have a great deal of pictures, it does not display the photos from our journey to Greece. There is alot you guys haven't seen! Bookmark the above link for all the latest pictures.

Note- Unfortunatley, Shawn keeps his digital images on his private account which is locked. When he awaked from his siesta, we will upload the images as soon as humanly possible.

Paul Roides

Click a pic!

We just figured out how to post pictures in a "thumbnail" format on the website. That means you'll notice the pictures are alot smaller, but if you click on them you can see the larger format! yeehaw! that gives us the ability to post more pictures!

"Kings of the Platea"

What we will try to do everyday is give you a look forward to what we are doing today so you can pray for us in advance, as well as give you a recap of the previous day with pictures and praise!

TODAY: more orientation, evangelism training, siesta, watching & praying through the opening ceremonies.

RECAP: Here is a quick recap of last night with a few names to pray for.
After a day of teaching, praying, crying and singing:

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We headed out to do evangelism!
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We arrived at the "platea" called "Agios Peraskevie":
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Then we went our in our buddies (Melanie &amp; Veronica, Linda & Channa, Paul & Len, Danielle & Hayley) to give out our Olympic info packs which included a "guide to the games", evangelistic CD and greek bible!

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Greeks love to chat, so we had many conversations, here are just a few:

- Paul & Len talked to Giorgios & friend, Yiannis & Niko, Older couple, 2 older greek men who spoke really good english,which he nicknamed "kings of the platea" because they just walked around spinning their Komboloi for like 2 hours as if they owned the place :)
- Danielly & Hayley spoke to a pregnant lady "Periskevie" and her husband Chris, who's father is orthodox, but mother is evangelical.
- Shawn talked to Alexious
- Linda & Channa spoke to John
- Sylas also drew a huge crowd
- Melanie & Veronica talked to many people

Hopefully everyone will post about their experiences a little later today.
Well, that's all for now, thank you again for your faithfulness in prayer! The battle is just beginning!
Shawn

I love my family!!!

Firstly, HELLO TO THE BERGHOFFERS!! So nice to hear from you and to hear your support!
Thank you to mom, Dad, Adam and Kim...it is very nice to read posts from you. I love you Spud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LAst night was awesome! We all went out to do some outreach. The best time to preach and talk to people is at night, so we hit the platia :-) (Like a city square out in the open??)
well my partner Veronica (who has been a wonderful encouragement to me, and very filled with the love of the Lord) and I were sitting down..and I had been saying that I didn't come all this way to sit on my butt and say nothing to people..letting Veronica do all the work...so with much fear and trembling I went up to a guy who was with his skateboarding buddies (guys of all ages) and struck up a conversation. It went so well that I lost all track of time!
My group almost missed the bus..but we ALL managed to catch AND fit into the last bus!! I had been asked..."Prove that God exists, here, today!" Man I tell you, the fact that ALL of us fit into a JAMMED bus and actually caught it (the last one of the night) THAT IS PROOF!!!
The team experienced many encounters and are just getting our feet wet!
Tonight is the prayer rally and we need all the prayers we can for both the Olympians and everyone here dedicated to the sewing of the Lord's love!
Stay tuned for pictures from Shawn!!
God bless!
Love, Melanie

Thursday, August 12, 2004

We have a phone!

hey everyone, we have a cell phone that everyone can be reached. The phone is len's so don't be afraid if a scary Irishman answers. The number is as follows

( country code 011) 30-694-316-697-693-4375

We're not too sure about the country code, but try anything you can.

Special note from Paul, Mom/dad call RIGHT when you see this. I'll wake up to speak with you!

Other parents keep in mind the time difference.


Paul Roides

Additions to the blog

Hey folks, just a really quick post while I am at the security booth. We have made a few additions to the left hand side of the blog:
1. I have added a new stat called "Number of boxes loaded". This means the number of literature boxes that we helped load onto trucks, vans or trailers:

2. If some of you can't find our older posts and are wondering "where do they goooooo" (ala nestea commercial), look on the left side under "archives" and click on the month (either "july" or "august").

Enjoy,
Shawn

Melanie's note :-)

HELLO!!! I finally am able to post...woo hoo!!!
I understand that my mom is an avid fan of the blog site...way to go mom..the team thinks you are cool and are very much appreciative of all the comments and all the prayerful support!
I passed the opportunity for a free tour yesterday..little did I realize that this was a rude thing to do in Greek culture ;-) I am here for better reasons than meeting guys anyhow!
Thank you to my mom for writing to me and for the news from home!
We went to the Acropolis and it was amazing and to the place Paul preached..very surreal and humbling..it makes the Bible feel so much more "real" if that makes sense!
Everyone here is very supportive and the worship sessions are energizing!
One man spoke last night (costas??) and he was so inspiring to see his love of the Lord! He ha da dream to have Greece evangelized and the Lord helped him realize this with hundreds of people across the world, united for this cause!!!
Mom, I love you and miss you very much, please keep your work on the homefront and keep praying..you know about who I am talking about!
You can feel that the Lord is with us..He has dealt with MANY things that I have had on my mind lately and it is amazing!
Mom I will try and write you later..I am sorry about the camera being taken :-( Lots of love, Melanie

Pictures from Athens

Veronica on Mars Hill where Paul preached (Acts 17):


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

First Impressions of Greece!

Well today was our first day in Athens and it was amazing!!! We started off the day with a nice trip on the bus and metro. The people are very friendly here and are willing toi help you if yoiu're lost. Fortunatley no one thta ewe know of we got lost. Thje city pumped it up alot to impress the tourist, lots of 'Official Olympic Stores' and bargimners. Danielle, Lionda , And Channa met a very impreessve Boxing team from Cananda that are participatong in the Olympic. Veronica and Mel met a very "nice" person who randomly wanted to take uis on a tour of the city. " I take you on tour of city. We go togeter okie?" Don't worry Mel's Mom we ddin't go with some strange man on a tour. Thjey certainly are wanting your money, over here peole tsalking you into their store, and trying to trick you into buying things taht are like ten times more expensive then in canada. We also had to hand out tracks. Linda was sitting in a cafe and some guy that was sititng near her started chatting about the olympics and he was from New brunswik. Out of the blue he says to linda, ' do you have any books for me to read, I never read books that i buy, only books that people give me. Lindsa was surprised and gave him a bible that we were handing." He said that when poele give him books it means that it that iots his oint in life to read it. Amazing eh? Well God bless in Canada, and please prayu for more miricles like this to happen.

Love you all!! veronica and Danielle

Athens Calling

We just hit Athens on the big scavenger hunt, although, us being the Canadian rebels that we are, decided to tour the city instead. Part of the game was to hand out 5 literature packets which we excelled at doing. It was interesting seeing people on the other side of the city with the HM bags knowing that they'd been reached. And im very glad to say that my Greek is coming back rapidly! I can honestly get around, have conversations, everything, although I am used to being called " the boy with the foreigners." I feel like an asset, and thats a good feeling. The HM homebase is awesome, so much to do and the people are awesome. We met alot of other Canadians. Its really cool.

Our Operation Gideon IDS are identical in nature to the Olympic V.I.P passes so we look like royaly in the streets. I bet thatwas Jonathan's idea. We have the same lanyard and everything! What a great idea.

My sister has always told me that i'd fall in love with Greece when I went back. And boy was she right. Man do i ever love the culture. Hayley and Shawn get people to hold their baby everywhere. Silas slept with some Greeks on the ferry! it's awesome. Anyways the catering is here so i must eat.

k.thx.bye.

(sorry no pictures) I'm on my brother-in-laws laptop not shawns)
Paul Roides

Planes, trains and automobiles...

Well we've got pictures for our diehard fans!
WARNING: THESE ARE BIG PICTURES AND MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD

First, we had to pack 12 of us, plus our luggage into a dodge caravan and drive for 5 hours to get to the boat:





Then we got to the boat, and on the boat:



Since we had deck seats, we had to stash our luggage in a corner and take turns watching it. Three cheers for Veronica and Paul, our faithful night watch crew:



This picture gives an idea of the insomnia we all felt at not being able to get comfortable:



Soon we arrived in Patras, Greece. This is the ancient port where St. Andrews bones were transported to Scotland. This is why the Greece flag and the scottish (blue) flag are St. Andrews cross.

After the tough ferry ride, to reward us for our labour, we took a scorching 5 hour train ride to Athens, then a metro (subway), then a bus to the "village"

Except for a motorcycle, i think we took every form of transportation known to man...except hovercraft of course :) Something to tell the grandkids when we are all old and grey :)

Love you all, keep praying!

Watch your comments!

Hey everybody, just wanted to let you know that we do reply to your comments. If you have posted a comment under a certain post, check back on your comments and see if we have replied. For example: some of you were wondering why I was called a "child abuser" in Ireland. Well check those comments for our reply! Just an FYI!

Also, today is a scavenger hunt in Athens. Everyone is in town with their buddies (2 by 2) going through a list of things to do so pray no one gets lost. Or if they do get lost that they will learn how to get help in Athens, before we are go to the island :)

Finally, keep updated at www.operationgideon.org for pictures of inside our little "village" here.

Love you all, keep praying!

Ireland

We're sifting through our pictures and deciding which ones are worthy of showing you. Here's a picture of the square/shopping strip where we did our first evangalism. Notice the needle in the background which all the locals hate. Anyways, off to the Acropolis.




k.thx.bye

Paul Roides

Pictures from rome



Our visit to Rome (at the the Vatican) for those wanting pictures. Much more to come. We are about to embark on a "scavenger hunt" through downtown athens. Pray that the language barrier wont be a big deal and that no team members will get lost.

k.thx.bye.

Paul Roides

Home base

Well folks, we are finally here in Athens. Our luggage is unpacked, our heads are on pillows, we can relax! After 38 hours of travelling yesterday (and the day before) we arrived in Athens at the "Hospitality Village" (see: www.operationgideon.org for details), where we will be living until August 16th. After that we will head to our Island, Evia, for 10 days, then back here by Aug 27th.

That's right folks, I said 38 hours of travelling! Please pray that we would not be embittered by this long journey, but that it would strip away the North American comfort zone we have all built up for ourselves. So often I believe this comfort zone stops us from serving God more whole-heartedly and I pray that this layer be stripped away from all of us on the team.

For some it was a gruelling trip. Our trip to Athens really started the day we went into Rome. Our train was delayed coming home and we got the dead last train home to Latina station around 12:30AM. No one got to sleep before 2AM. Then the next day we were up at 7 to load the van with 12 people and all our luggage!!! What a feat! I have a video of the whole thing so pray I can post it. After we loaded all of us in we drove 5 hours from Latina, Italy to Bari, Italy (with minor complaints) where our ferry was leaving for Greece. We hopped on the ferry at 8PM with our deck seats (that means we were sleeping outside) and enjoyed a wonderful taste of Italian culture for 16 hours, until 12 noon the next day. I didn't get any pictures, but take my word that Billy Ray Cyrus is making a comeback in Italy! I saw at least 15 guys with his haircut - no joking! Almost everyone on the ferry looked like this:

except for less clothes :) WEll, more on that later.

Currently it is 9AM and we are just getting up (some of us) for breakfast. There are many many stories for us to share, and many emails to get caught up on so please be patient as we get settled. We have internet and phone access so hopefully everyone can call/email soon.

As for pictures, we are going to try and load a few so you can see real pictures that we have taken. Also with some luck we may be able to get a few videos online.

Thank you for your prayers and comments. It really inspires us as we plod along! More soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

What a Journey

Well our little trek through Europe was amazing! Although everyone lost something! I personally lost a great deal of film. I cried. Profusely. And such. Others lost cameras. Pillows. entire suitcases ( which were then found) Ireland was absoleutly gorgoeus. Amazing country. We didnt get to go to downtown london so we were stuck in the airport. We then went to Italy where we stayed with a McDonalds crazed Canadian living in Italy. We wanted to try some Italian Pizza, which we eventually did, but he lavished us with Big Mac after Big Mac. Rome was an AMAZINg city. too bad i dfidnt have films for it Anyways my internet cafe time is up! Keep praying!

OHHH the HEAT!!

Well after a very long ferry ride, we did arrive in Patras.
Italy was an adventure too!! Thank goodness that Italian class paid off!
We were incredibly blessed by the kindness and generosity of Joe and Joan, while in Italy! That inspires sooo much! We thank the Lord for them!
Keep on praying!! I miss my family, hope you are doing well!!!
Hello to Myra and Roger and everyone else at Grace Bible Chapel!
Love, Melanie

In Greece!

Hey folks, it's Shawn here. I am just at an Internet cafe in Patras, Greece. Only on for 5 minutes. We will write more very soon.
Sorry for the lack of updates. We couldn't get internet in Italy, so here is a few highlights:
- Vatican dress code
- Colleseum & Foxes book of Martyrs
- Train station madness
- Sylas super poop in McDonalds
- Joe & Joan amazing hospitality
- Greek ferry fun

We'll write back very soon! Thank you for your prayers!!
Shawn

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Ireland = awesome

Hey hey everyone!

Ireland has been amazing. Another item on my lifes to do list was crossed off, Drive in a car which drives on the right hand side. Kinda scary but ultimately awesome. We did our first evangelism yesterday in this ultra hip shopping district in Dublin. It was hard at first but talking to teenagers got easier and easier. Shawn got heckled by some drunk Irishmen while preaching but it attracted a crowd. Thanks for you prayers and you'll hear more from me soon.
Heres a pic of what shawn did to get him called a child abuser.



Paul Roides

Ireland Aiport!

I love wireless! We have connected successfully for the first time here in Dublin Airport! Woo-hoo! Everyone is safe and sound. We had a great time yesterday doing evangelism on Henry Street, downtown Dublin! Everyone had a great time, and it was the first time I have ever been called "Michael Jackson" :) More stories and pictures to come. WE'll be in London in about an hour for another update.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

We're Here!

After saying goodbye to our teary eyed parents we headed towards our gate, our hearts were burdened with lonely parents being left back in Canada. Everything went well in customs and we had absolutely no problems. We walked to where our plane would be picking us up to take us to our destination of Dublin, Ireland. As we boarded, people of all shapes and sizes boarded with us, some going to Dublin, some to Shannon. Thank goodness we were not going to Shannon because I do not think any of us could take any more then 5 hours and 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the worst of our problems had just begun… we had to wait half an hour for the sink to be fixed, then we would be on our merry way. But of course as we were about to take off, we and to back up and wait another hour and a half for the plane to be rid of its engine malfunctions. After a strenuous wait, we were finally off to the one place we wanted to be in for a while now. It was an excellent flight, mind the complimentary crumpets and eggs. But as luck has it one of our lucky travellers won a prize!! Yay Melanie! Congrats on your purse that you will not wear.
Okay, so when we arrived we met up with Paul and Leonard, and after being magnetically drawn to our beds, we spent the rest of the night getting to do a little team bonding and making new friends. We love it here in Ireland and we think we just might stay here. Just Kidding. :) God Bless Canada! And Ireland too!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Up Up and Away!!!

At 10:45PM tonight we take off for our first leg of the trip to Dublin, Ireland.

Keep praying and posting comments and we'll write when we get there!

Pray for Andersons

For those who don't know Josh & Lori Anderson, they are the KLBC residence directors next year. They were on a missions trip recently when Lori found out that her 19 year old brother was killed in a car accident. They had to return and so your prayers are valued for them at this time. Pray that they would be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing and for their year ahead at KLBC.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Twas the night before Athens....

All my bags are packed (um...kinda), I'm ready to go (well almost)....
Actually I'm feeling kind of sick. I am coughing with a sore throat. Sylas' nose is running. Linda called from PEI with alergies. Paul has a sore throat and other ailments. You'd think we were involved in some spiritual warfare here..


For all you who are reading this we are going into enemy territory. The Greeks are not our enemies, the devil is and he's starting with our health. Seems like in the book of Job health was the last thing that Satan was allowed to attack. I guess since we have no real posessions to our name Satan went right to the top of the list :) Anyhow, please pray!!!

So, come rain or shine everybody is arriving at our house before 5PM tomorrow. Say your prayers and take your vitamins you little hulkamaniacs!! Get a good night sleep. You'll need it.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Do you believe in miracles?

I think everyone likes to believe miracles can happen. Few however will take steps of faith, so that GOD can do the miracle, not them. Only when we completely trust God, aside from any of our own efforts, can miracles happen. Salvation is a beautiful example of this. Nothing we could do would save us, we were helpless, but trusted Jesus to save us, and he did. Miraculous. The picture below illustrates our fundraising strategy at the beginning:

I had to sit down and type this as I have seen a first hand a miracle take place over the past 6 months.
I was just sitting here packing when I found an envelope I had used to keep all our teams money in. Money people had given us for our trip. Money we had not asked for. Money that came from 6 countries. From over 25 different people. From God, through His people.
Then I looked at the names of the people that are going and their circumstances. Teenagers, grocery store clerks, factory workers, parents laid off, needing a miracle.
This is a powerful testimony to God's faithfulness. All we have to do is "trust and obey" and he will provide. May He get the glory for what he has done, and will do, through this trip.

How are we getting there - Volume 1

Well folks, as some of you know we are not taking a direct flight to Athens. Actually our trip looks like this:
Toronto --> Ireland -->Italy --> Greece
We'll be updating you all each step of the way so check in often to see pictures (we have 3 digital cameras with us :)) and news about our trip. Also, don't forget to post "comments" by clicking on the word "comment" below each of the posts. More soon about Leg 1 of the trip - Ireland!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

"Airline" show on A&E

Just dropping Lukas off at my parents tonight when I saw this show on A&E called "Airline". It's about all the possible problems that people can experience in airports. Here's my favitore episode:
http://www.aetv.com/tv/shows/airline/episodes.jsp

"In Baltimore, the 6-member Liberatore Family has a problem--there are six of them and only five seats left on their flight to Buffalo."

Anyone heard of "air-rage". These people are ticked. Check the show out team and get ready. The moral of the stories are GET THERE EARLY!!

Anyone out there have any good airport/airline stories they'd like to share? Just click "comments" below.

HOW MANY MORE DAYS??????AHHHHH!!!

SO, up to this point it hasn't really hit me yet...then I read..ONLY 3 MORE DAYS til we leave...woah...maybe a little nervous now.
It's normal to have panic attacks and feel like you are going to pass out eh? Thought so!!
Just thinkin about the different cultures and languages and..ok there is that tight panic feeling again!
And yes, I even feel very inadequate for this voyage..I feel as though I have no talent to bring to the table and as if the WRONG person got selected for this team.
Then it occurs to me..less of ME and MORE of HIM! When we get humbled, that is when God best uses us..taken out of a comfort zone and put into HIS capable hands!
Everything happens for a reason..and things have worked out SO well thus far, there is nothing left to do but TRUST and be OPEN to His will and leading!! God would not put you in a place outside of His grace and protection..this plays in my head again and again. I am truly thankful to have a Creator that cares about little ole me :-)

Side story: On a return missions trip, the travel had me SO exhausted, that I slept through the entire emptying of a 747!! I talk in my sleep, so I can only imagine what I shared with my fellow passengers. If it wasn't for the kindness of the stewardess telling me, "You HAVE to get off now Ms."...I believe I would still be sleeping there now ;-)And just when you think...maybe no one noticed..I was approached by a passenger saying "I was going to wake you..but you were sleeping SO soundly!" :-)

Now what?

Is anyone else a basket of nerves? We leave in 3 days and I can't shake the feeling of inadequacy, doubt and fear. The unknown. Trusting God for things that are out of our control. Leaving Lukas here. Everything all at once.
This morning I just started crying when Channa was singing "I need you now". That is the desperation cry that saves us, and the attitude that must go with us as we are serving God. Just thinking of the amazing journey she, and all of us, have been on to get to this point, and how it's really just the beginning.

What to do now but pack and wait? This picture sums up how I'm feeling

Ever get that feeling before a big game? A speech? More than butterflies. You'd swear there was a bowling ball in your stomach. Last time I got it was before i spoke at camp in PEI. Not knowing what to expect. Nothing to depend on except God, which is the scariest and safest feeling on earth. "Lord save me".

The only comfort is that this may be the exact feeling Paul had before visiting the Corinthians. He writes:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
"1Dear brothers and sisters,[1] when I first came to you I didn't use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God's message.[2] 2For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. 3I came to you in weakness--timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. 5I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom."

Nothing special about him or his message. He was terrified as he explained the gospel to them, and simply trusted God for the results.

That is why I keep coming back to Greece. From my experience, the group at HM understands this. They aren't perfect and polished. They aren't very organized. They often times drive you crazy, but behind it all is this fundamental principle of missions: If it's gonna happen, God will make it happen, not me.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?