Again thank you all very much for your prayers! We really couldn't do it without you all. I want to share one story to show how God answered your prayers for us here, half way around the world! Upon arriving on our island it was clear that we needed to rent a car to travel between all the tiny villages. Villages like Merixax, Chora, Dryopida, Lefkes, Loutra and others with populations of 50-500 are scattered all over this Island of Kythnos. We got a great deal on a van and each day split up into our mini-teams of 4 (our team consists of 12 people plus Olivia - so 3 teams of 4). Each team would be dropped off in their respective village to hand out Bibles, and then we would meet up again at the end of the day to eat supper together at some location where we felt the Lord giving us the best opportunities. One such town was Dryopida. Noel, Deb, Danielle and Kelly had distributed bags there and got a good vibe, so the entire team went there Saturday night. That night there was a big Euro dance at the main ampi-theater so the place was packed with about 500 or 600 people from all over the island, some we recognized coming from other villages as this was the only thing going on on the entire island that night. We saw alot of people we had spoke to from other villages.
We weren't sure what the Euro dance was all about but we knew people would be there so we prayed, and asked you to pray, and God answered in a big way! We ate dinner there and prayed that we would get a chance to share. We had been practising singing some Greek songs and we asked the Lord to give us a chance to share, then headed to the ampitheater. We thought perhaps we would get a chance to sing our songs & talk to people after the show, hopefully if people would be mingling around after.
The ampitheater was packed and there were many performers. While we were waiting for the show to begin Hayley felt led to ask the people if we could actually perform during the show! We were very nervous and prayed as she asked the organizers. First she asked the sound guy who told her to ask the lady that was organizing it. Hayley asked the lady, who simply asked who we were and what we wanted to do and Hayley explained we were Christians from all over the world who had a few songs to sing. The lady wanted to see the songs and after she read the words she gave us the green light! Praise God, we were on the program, and not only that, we were the grand finale!! Now we were REALLY nervous...would we remember our Greek songs, would they boo and throw things at us?? We prayed more fervently now!
The program went on for about 2 hours and we were losing hope of actually getting to perform. There was Greek dancing, singing and lots of "Opa's" all around. After what appeared like the grand finale, the organizer lady went up to the microphone, motioned to Hayley and explained to the whole crowd that we were an international group of Christians that were visiting the Island and wanted to sing some Christian songs. Here is the video:
It was amazing!! We took the stage and sang praises to Jesus in front of people from the entire Island! Len played guitar, we had sheets in front of us with the Greek words and Olivia was sleeping the whole time! Looking at the crowd I figured there were over 600 people there, which was almost half the population of the entire island! Here is the video that Kelly took of us singing in Greek.
There is a video of us singing in English as well but I'll load it up some other time. First we sang "All in All" in English, then Greek, then we sang one other song only in Greek. The people loved it and were very appreciative. Debbie (our Greek speaking Irish superstar) took the microphone after we were finished and shared a bit in Greek about who we were and told everyone that we were the one who had been leaving the Bibles all over their Island!! Wow! And they all clapped!! Praise God
The best part though was after the performance. Hayley and i went up to thank the organizer lady and give her a Bible. We thanked her and asked her where she was from. She went on to tell us that she was the wife of the MAYOR!!!!! We weren't sure wether this meant the mayor of the town (I couldn't imagine a town of 500 having a mayor) so possibly it was the municipality of the entire Island!!! Wow! I've never experienced that before, where a government official has endorsed so openly the gospel or a group of Christians. It was like she had just given a "stamp of approval" to our work, and let all the people of the island know that they officially welcomed the bags!
So thanks for your prayers. We have lots more stories but I'll have to save them for another time. We leave Kythnos today on the ferry and spend the next three days at Porto Astro again, so I won't have internet access until we're back in Canada. Please pray for a safe trip home for everyone on the team! Thank you so much for standing with us in prayer through our time here!