A little over a year ago I was co-leading an outreach to Greece for a School of Evangelism trip. This was my fourth time to Greece in the five years I had been with YWAM Tyler. For those who don’t know, Greece is 98% Greek Orthodox which basically means they know who God is but don’t know about having a relationship with Him. In current times, Greece has been in an economical crisis which has most of the population unemployed and without hope for the future of the country. What a perfect time to spend a summer going around the country, telling people about the hope that is found in Jesus and what it’s like to have a real relationship with Him.
We had spent the first couple of weeks traveling to different cities and partnered with some local ministries. For our last several days in the country, before traveling north to Kosovo, we got to join with a non-denominational ministry that focused on Bible distribution. Their vision is to get a modern Greek Bible in every home because most families don’t have a Bible of their own in their modern language. So we split up into teams, piled into a van with boxes upon boxes of Bibles, and drove to these small cities and villages. My job was to navigate our driver to wherever the city or village was by using a map that is in Greek and my very limited knowledge of the Greek alphabet. By the grace of God we never got lost! Before we left each day, they would tell us how many Bibles we needed for each place we would visit and how many Bibles we should pass out in each town.
One day as we were loading up I noticed that it said one village we would visit only needed six Bibles. How small does a village have to be to only need six Bibles?! Ironically that village was the farthest distance so I knew we needed to go there first and make our way back. When we got to the closest city to that village we had to ask for directions because we didn’t have an accurate map to find this place. After forty-five minutes of searching for someone with enough English to help us, we found out we had to take a little mountain trail to get to our destination.
That’s right, we took our ten passenger van on a sketchy dirt road, up a mountain into the unknown to find this tiny village that only needed six Bibles. The road was so bumpy and rocky, I thought for sure we were gonna get stuck. I remember driving past a field with a farmer and his herd of goats staring at us like we had lost our minds, while I was literally thinking we had lost our minds. I wanted to turn back and just give up. Why risk getting lost, stuck, or even worse. What if the van broke down while we were trying to find a tiny village in the mountains? It's not like there were any repair shops nearby. Just when I was about to throw out a suggestion to turn around, we saw a rooftop in the distance, and the whole van burst into excitement after our journey into the unknown.
Just as the excitement came, it left. We pulled up to a huge mud pit that we knew our van couldn’t go through. With the village still in sight, about a mile or so away, we decided to trek on foot. The air was crisp and the breeze was wonderful. It was the most beautiful summer day I had ever experienced in my time in Greece.
When we made it to the village we were welcomed by the people, which was refreshing compared to some of the other places we had visited. After we had given out the Bibles and started walking back I heard God speak to me so gently and softly. It was like He was walking next to me on that trail in the mountains of Greece. He simply said, “Even for just one, Alyssa.” Scratching my head, I turned around and looked at this tiny village. “Even for just one, Alyssa,” I heard again and it hit me, like a ton of bricks.
In Luke 15 Jesus shares a parable about a shepherd leaving his 99 sheep to find the one. It was like my heart had been opened to a piece of God’s heart in that moment. God’s love in all of its glory and magnitude would send this nobody from a city in Texas to a tiny village in Greece just so one could get the chance to know Him. Would leave 99 so that one could be saved. Would rejoice over the tiny village in the middle of nowhere Greece so that they'd have a chance to know Him through His Word. Would die on the cross so that we together could experience His great love.
Come and join us in the work of going to the needy in our world and sharing God's love with them. It could be the journey which changes your life forever.