“. . . "Those who are well have no need of a physician,
but those who are sick. But go and learn what 
this

means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did
not come to call 
the righteous, but sinners, to
repentance.”" Matthew 9:12-13

 
"'Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you
find, 
invite to the wedding.'" Matthew 22:9
 

Joining in with Pastor Frank and wife Suzie Gonzalez of Calvary Chapel Hellas Minstries (CCHM) there were blessings after blessings assisting in the work where they have been invovled in Athens, Greece.  In addition to Mens Bible Study, Women's Bible Study, another focus of work was coming along side  Helping Hands ~ Athen's Refugee Ministry (HH~ARM) an outreach to Muslim refugees coming mainly from Iran and Afghanistan.  Some of HH~ARM goals include providing meals, showers to women and their children, Gospel presentation, Bible studies, and children's ministry and food distribution.

 


One of the days I helped happened to be International Women's Day.  Three ladies from Russia also came to minister a special program for the women. There was a special time to pamper the women with hair braiding, manicures and pedicures.  One woman wept while telling us that her hair had not looked that beautiful since her wedding day.  I am told that they will often start to weep during their time together as this is the only time they feel free to share their burdens.  Here, they all felt very loved.  This day they felt free enough to dance and I was told this was a first time ever for this ministry!  

 

There were special crafts for the children and a birthday cake for one of the children.  My day was full; sorting baby clothes, serving meals, sharing time with the ladies and finally sweeping and mopping at the end of the outreach.  It really moved my heart knowing the freedoms we have and only being able to imagine the struggles of their spiritual and physical lives in their lands on a daily basis.

 

The outreaches have special focus on certain days.  One day is devoted to women and children, another would be set apart for families with children's ministry as well as a Bible study for the men. It was wonderful praying for and simply assisting with the Children’s ministry, cooking, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc. and seeing the parents listen to messages and attend Bible Studies. They come from Muslim families from countries dominated by Islam, but many have embraced Christ.  It is a beautiful thing to see.  Please keep them in prayer as they are on the front lines when interacting with many family and friends who continue in Islam.  They know the truth of Christ and the truth has set them free.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~ Porch Lights ~

Day or night, lights 'On' at the front entrance indicate the brothel is active and receiving customers.  Nea Zoi (New Life), an international outreach ministry goes within brothels as well as interacting with street prostitutes, madams and even on occasion, the customer throughout the neighborhoods after sundown.  The volunteers befriend the workers and share the Gospel and love of Christ.  Encouraging alternate and honorable life changes, the ministry helps with those who want to change from this way of life.

 

Prostitution inside a brothel is legal in Greece.  Street prostitution is not. The 'workers', both women and men are registered with the Government as are the 'madams' who manage them.  There are many working illegally as well.  The madams often welcome the time with Nea Zoi volunteers and join in the conversations.  Many workers have received the LORDleft this chapter of their lives in the past, and gone on to a new way to live, forever changed.  There are shelters to help with relocating and sewing classes to give practical training as well as help with medical needs and to get them in touch with alternate resources to meet their needs. 

 

Some came willingly trafficked through the sex trade industry because of no other way to earn a living.  Many have children 'back home' in another country and they are trying to support them.  When they do decide to leave it can be dangerous particularly for the young ones as they have more years to work and those that brought them derive income from them. The workers are often raped and beaten if they leave and are found.  Mafia also has a stake in this.

 


One night we saw the LORD answer several prayers.  My heart was on fire to pray the LORD to

  • touch and change hearts
  • for workers to make a final determination that this line of work could not continue in their lives
  • boldly praying that though Athens has been a pagen city, worshiping every form of idol and awashed in eons of demonic worship, that tonight that would be broken and prostitution would cease

Shorlty after praying this and as other volunteers were coming out of the brothels having spoken with the workers we learned the LORD had answered:

  • A worker said that when she would begin to read the word of God at her home (they live away from the brothels) that she would get goose bumps all over
  • One worker had come to the final decision that she could not take the pain anymore and was determined to get out of this line of work.  The madam even agreed that the worker needed to stop, she just could not manage anymore  
  • Moments later there were police raids on several of the brothels and all the brothels in the entire area shut down! Many customers were quite upset and dismayed as they went through the alleyways 

This was such an answer to prayer! My heart was so touched to see the LORD reach into these empty lives and cause events to happen to bring change. Praise the LORD!