Tuesday, May 10, 2016

the unexpected on mars hill

We arrived safely in Greece, if somewhat lacking sleep, but we could pass up walking around the city on a beautiful evening. With camera in hand, I had one goal, get a good photo of the Acropolis during that photographer's, "magic hour" of lighting right before dark. Not knowing exactly where we were going, we just kept walking straight ahead with the Acropolis looming before us. We passed by quaint alleys and small restaurants packed with people.

 I thought finding a good spot would be hopeless and wished that I had looked up rooftop restaurants for our perfect view. As we kept climbing higher, we stumbled upon picturesque snapshots for the city and finally found a set of rough hewn steps leading up to a rock. I kept praising Jesus for this chance encounter with this tall rock that loomed over the city with 360 views and the perfect spot to see the Acropolis.

After taking a few photos, Bonnie and  I sat on the rocks and took some time to pray for our trip, for the safe travels there, for grace towards one another in the long hours we would be traveling together, praise for the beauty he had brought is to, but also for intentional conversations with the people we would and had already encountered. We prayed that our plans would come second to the plans that God was preparing for our trip and that we could use our time here as his hands and feet. That we would shine with his light here. After praying, we sat in awe of our surroundings and I told Bonnie that I thought the people sitting beside us might be fellow believers.

We couldn't figure out a way to start conversation, so we sat watching the sun setting, listening the some guys playing the guitar close by and our own conversations turned to trying to figure out where we were and also trying to figure out where the apostle Paul had spoken to the Athenians about the "unknown God" in Acts 17. "Wouldn't it be cold if Paul stood on these very same rocks" I said.

Then Bonnie, turning to the people beside us, asked if they knew where we were. It turns out that we were sitting on Mars Hill, also commonly called the Areopagus, the exact spot that Paul stood! When they saw our Bible open, we discovered that they were in fact Chrisitians and are here with YWAM. We sat together for hours as the sun faded and the city lights started to glow.

After sharing a meal together and much encouragement, we felt like we were on an adrenaline rush and spiritual high. What a blessing to run into fellow believers whose hearts are so wrapped around the Lord and where he is leading them. It was such an immediate response to the prayers we had been praying right before meeting them and can see God's hand already at work on this trip. 

In addition to James, Rose and Danny, we've gotten to me several other people who have also gotten the groupon deal, so we pray for intentional conversations with them over the next few days. 

For now, I'm sitting on a ferry in the Mediterranean headed toward Mykonos Island. 

Please join me in praying for our time away and for the people that God is bringing into our lives here.