Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday's hot topics - Does the Bible contradict itself?

TheologyStudent recently posted a few seeming Bible contradictions on the forum. Here's a sample of one:
The author of Matthew contradicts the author of Mark on the number of animals Jesus is riding into Jerusalem.

(Mat 21:7 NRSV) they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on
*them*.

(Mark 11:7 NRSV) Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on
*it*.
Are there contradictions in the Bible? How would you answer this and other seeming contradictions? Post your thoughts on the forum - here

Also, the forum has registered it's first member from Malaysia! Alvin attends a brethren church in Malaysia that is currently expanding and has planted 4 other congregations in the last 10 years. We look forward to Alvin's contributions!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Matt & Ruth flooded

I posted last week about Matt & Ruth Cook and their decision to stay in Pakistan. A few days later I received another email from Matt describing flooding that has occured during the rainy season:
The biggest problem is the flooding that's been going on. Hard to imagine that an area with an average annual rainfall of about -2cm is now swimming. It's rough for the people here. Houses are collapsing, crops and animals are dying. Apparently the city we're in right now have been hit the worst. Hundreds of families here in Sanghar are homeless now. Pray for Sindh.
Please pray for Matt & Ruth. If God moves you to send them a financial gift to help the people there you can donate via MSC

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday prayer requests - OG2 on Greek TV nationwide!!

Got this email yesterday from the staff at Hellenic Ministries!Please pray that this would be a huge blessing, instead of a curse:
1. OG2 on TV nationwide - and the impact on those that saw the ALPHA TV channel last week. OG2, our beautiful color gift bags, and hardbound Bibles were splashed on the screen nationwide in a 'Good Morning Greece'- type program. A Cretan Orthodox Bishop took the opportunity to blast Hellenic Ministries and the Evangelical community in a slanted presentation against our work and us. We believe that their efforts to slam our alleged proselytism only worked in favor of advertising our Bible distribution as a noble cause! Even the Orthodox Theologian on the talk show refuted some of the angered Bishops points in our defense. The Orthodox Theologian went so far as to challenge the Orthodox Church to wake-up; he stated the following: "We must learn from them and get out where the people are and spread the light ourselves!" (plausible implication – we are in the dark!) He also corrected the Bishop reciting the Greek constitution when OG2 was under the hammer for proselytism. Sadly, the last words of the Theologan were a quote from St. Augustine – “There is no salvation outside the church!” We thank the Lord however for Dr. Katsarkas of Thessaloniki who spoke on defense of Hellenic Ministries and the Evangelical community in Greece via a telephone link. (Conveniently, the talk show organizers were careful not to stage any evangelicals in front of the camera.)
Keep praying for the follow up from the OG2 outreach!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday's hot topics - Foot Washing

A little practised command in scripture is the act of foot washing. What did Jesus mean when he said ""If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." Jn 13:13??? If Jesus did it, shouldn't we? Comment on the forum - here

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cook's are staying put

Here is an update from Matt & Ruth Cook concerning their plans to return to Canada:
Ruth's visa application was rejected. The Canadian government is afraid that Ruth might try to stay in Canada past her allotted six months
Please pray for them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wednesday prayer requests - No more internet!

Alright folks, this is a biggie. After months of humming and hawing we have finally decided to cancel the internet at home. That's right no more high-speed, I'm quitting cold turkey. Since having Olivia we've hardly been getting any sleep let alone time to check email so we cancelled our high-speed account and now I'm going through withdrawl.

Pray for me that I don't turn into an internet warewolf that drives around with my laptop looking for wireless signals. AAawwwwoooooooooo

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday's hot topics - The Dead Sea Scrolls

Last year when I was in Israel we went to the site of an amazing biblical archaeological find - Quamran - a series of caves close to the "Dead Sea". In these caves a young boy found some clay pots full of Biblical manuscripts, dating back to the first century, which became known as "the dead sea scrolls". They were in near perfect condition and have provided one of the best set of manuscripts and proof for the Bible in recent history.

On the discussion forum "InHimAlone" asks a good question about these scrolls and what impact they should have on Christians today - here:
What bearing should the Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew Scriptures or the Greek Septuagint be given for the purposes of study, exegesis or teaching the word of God?
Can we be satisfied with our modern English translations or should we be striving to learn the biblical languages?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back in town

Well we're back and exhausted. As if terrorist delays weren't enough, AirTransat decided to switch up their planes and so we were 2 hours late getting to Toronto. So we're here safe and sound and catching up. Hopefully I'll post a wrap up of the trip soon, including my brief stint as a paparazzi photographer, when I saw Peter Kent (Global News anchorman) sitting one row in front of us on the flight home!!). More soon but for now, here is a link to the pictures of the outreach:

OG2 team pictures - click here.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane?

Hi everyone, hopefully this will be my last update before we get home. I'm just here at the Greek Bible Institute in Athens where we stayed last night. Many people who were part of the outreach had flights cancelled yesterday so please pray that our 2PM Toronto flight will not be affected. We do not go through the UK or US so hopefully things will go smoothly. More soon

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Chronicles of Kythnos V4 - Best night ever!

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!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Chronicles of Kythnos V3 - Bible bags

Just a quick update here in Kythnos. Everyone must have been praying for us last night as we went to the little town of Dryopida. It was the most amazing night , and possibly the best opportunity we have ever had in our many visits to Greece. More a little later today. Please keep praying! Here is a video of me with the Kythnos Donkey after picking up our literature bags. The bags contain a copy of the New Testament in modern Greek, a Jesus DVD and other literature. When we went to pick up our literature we had to maneuvre around this friendly donkey, but thankfully he didn't bite. Please pray for those who we have shared Jesus with and have already received bags.

More soon about our amazing night last night

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Chronicles of Kythnos - V2 - Arrival and Porto Astro

Well I finally figured out the internet here on the Island of Kythnos! I bought an internet phone card and have been reduced to dial-up. For this entry I'm going to take it back a bit to last week when we arrived. Here is a picture of Olivia, she did great on the flight! We were greeted at the Athens airport by our friend Debbie and the HM bus, which picked us up and drove us to Hellenic Ministries seaside property, Porto Astro. For 3 days we had orientation, worship, seminars, workshops, swimming and enjoying the beautiful view. There were over 200 people attending from about 25 countries! On the final night there was a commissioning service where the guest speaker Peter Grant commissioned us all after we had shared communion. We then gathered in our teams and prayed before heading off to our islands! It's encouraging to think that while we are here on Kythnos there are other teams proclaiming the name of Jesus all over the Greek Islands!!
Here is a short video I took, which only took 45 minutes to upload on this sweet dial up connection :) Hopefully I'll be able to upload some more videos and pictures soon.


Please keep praying as we will be going out tonight to the town of Dyopidra to share the love of Jesus!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Some info on Kythnos while you're waiting for pictures :)

HEre is a website on Kythnos - http://www.thegreektravel.com/kythnos/
Kythnos or Thermia is an unspoiled and very Greek Island in every aspect. It mostly attracts Greek tourists, locals are very friendly and life is slow.

The Chronicles of Kythnos - V1

Well well folks, it's another update starting with an apology for not posting more! :) Internet cafe's here on the Greek Island of Kythnos (2 hours south from the port of Pireas) are as about as reliable as the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible :) The monitor at the internet cafe here went down and I wasn't able to connect my laptop to upload pictures and videos. Now it's fixed and tonight I hope to try to connect so you can all see and hear how things are going.

Currently we are into our 2nd day of full-out evangelism here on the island. We have been entrusted with 512 bible packs and have had a great time distributing them throughout the island. Towns to pray for include Merixas, Chora, Kanala, Dyopida and Loutra.

Tonight we will be all travelling via our rental car to the town of Loutra where Len and Sarah had a great discussion with the skipper who runs the marina. Pray that we will get a chance to boldly share with him and many others who park their boats there. Pray that we would be able to get the packs of Bibles into the hands of Kythnonians (if that is a word). Pray for safety on these brutal and windy mountain roads. Everyone is still doing great, nothing major to report, however we still have until Monday for something to go wrong so please pray for us, as well as the other 30 teams who have spread out over these Greek Island to distribute all 30,000 Bibles in modern Greek! Pray that God would lead us to the right people! Thank you so much for your prayers so far. On behalf of the team - Noel, Len, Ger, Kelly, Danielle, Claire, Sara, Amy, Deb, Ruth, Hayley, Olivia and myself thank you for standing with us in prayer. More soon :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We're here!

HEy everyone, sorry for the lack of updates. This is my first time getting to an internet cafe on our little Island of Kythnos. I have lots of pictures and prayer requests on the laptop so hopefully I'll get to connect a little later. Everyone is doing great, Olivia is attracting a crowd as usual :) Thanks for praying, more soon

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August loggin in

27July06-Aug1206 -> OG2 in Greece
12Aug06 - Sat - back in Toronto, catch up at chapel
13Aug06 - Sun - BofB, FBH
14Aug06 - Mon - daycamp
15Aug06 - Tues -
16Aug06 - Wed -
17Aug06 - Thurs-
18Aug06 - Fri -
19Aug06 - Sat -
20Aug06 - Sun - BofB (shared), FBH, HVDC by 6PM
21Aug06-25Aug06
24Aug06 - Thurs - Daycamp banquet
26Aug06 - Sat - At chapel 9-2PM, parents for evening
27Aug06 - Sun - BofB, FBH with 9 (Alpha, Frank, Moses, Maya, Mae, Clayon, Christoff, Hansel, Jamoy), afternoon youth practise, youth service till 10
28Aug06 - Mon - at chapel, catch-up
29Aug06 - Tues - zoo
30Aug06 - Wed -
31Aug06 - Thurs - meet Matt Craig @ DVBC