Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pray for Greece

It has been some time since the Apostle Paul wrote his two letters to the Corinthians.
Ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth
(Photo: www.HolyLandPhotos.org)
In the week of July 21 -28  some 750 villages and towns in the area surrounding Corinth, Greece will again be receiving the letters from Paul, as well as the rest of the New Testament writers.
Around 250 volunteers from around the world will take part in a mass distribution of scriptures to 120,000 homes in the area. The copies of the New Testament will be in modern Greek published by the Bible Society. They will also receive a audio recording of the New Testament in modern Greek on a DVD plus some gospel literature.
Very few Greeks own a copy of the Bible as it is regarded as a study book for theologians and clergymen. And not intended to be read by the masses. Those that do possess a copy of the Bible treat it more as a good luck charm or an ornament.
During this project 120,000 households will be receiving a beautifully bound copy of the New Testament in a language they would expect to find in their daily newspaper. It is the sort of Greek the venerable apostle would have used if he had been sending out his epistles today.
Greek New Testaments
The campaign is being organized by Hellenic Ministries, a Greek-based evangelistic mission operating out of Athens, Greece. The mission was started by Costas and Alky Macris who had returned from their own work as pioneer missionaries in Irian Jaya for health reasons and immediately began a new ministry in their native Greece.
This project is the biggest evangelistic effort in the long history of Greece. When Paul wrote his two epistles to the Corinthians it was probably delivered to a small handful of believers, who were facing real problems. This time 120,000 homes will have access to the Word of God as found in the New Testament. Remembering that ". the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (Hebrews 4:12, NLT)
Johnathan Macris, President of Hellenic Ministries, and his small staff are confident that the area will be greatly impacted for "the entrance of Your word brings light, it brings understanding to the simple." (Ps 119.130). Their vision is to distribute a million copies of the New Testament throughout rural Greece. Over the past few years 224,000 New Testaments have already been distributed to homes across Greece.
The ages of the volunteers ranges from pre- adolescent teens to senior citizens. They come as individuals, church groups, and families - all with the sole aim of getting the writings of Paul and his fellow New Testament writers to the masses.
How the Apostle Paul would have loved to have had such an enthusiastic, energized group at his disposal. Before the campaign has even started there is evidence of mounting opposition.  The national Greek Orthodox Church has posted a message on its website warning parishioners to avoid any contact with “this group of heretics spreading false teachings amongst our people.”  Sounds like history is repeating itself.   "They (the Jewish elders) accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.”" (Acts 18:13, NLT)
For further information about this great project contact Dr. Nico Bougas, International Coordinator of Hellenic Ministries: nico@bougas.info

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