A Letter from Nadia Ayoub, serving in Greece
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“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
Dear friends and families,
I greet you all in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I give thanks to our God because He is our strength and all things are possible if we press on in our relationship with the Lord. We can take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of for us, as the apostle Paul said, “…But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Phil. 3:12
I give thanks to God for each one of you. Your partnership with the PC(USA), the Greek Evangelical Church, and me affirms that together we trust God’s power. Together we press on toward Christ Jesus’ goal for us to bring his love to refugees, especially in Katerini, Greece.
Thank you very much for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support that make it possible for me to fulfill God’s mission to reach many who are poor, hungry, sick, and strangers. We can believe in God’s promise stated in Matthew 25:40 that whatever we do for one of the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish you all the best for the New Year 2021. As we press on, we walk closely with God and pray that God will perfect our imperfections. There are several special New Year’s traditions in Greece. One has to do with the seeds of a pomegranate. The more seeds a pomegranate has, the luckier the family will be. On New Year’s day many people serve a New Year’s cake with a hidden coin inside. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the coin is considered blessed.
Health concerns are especially critical for the refugees. Specialists and hospitals are 1 ½ hours away in Thessaloniki. The restrictions due to the lockdown are difficult to understand for most refugees. Many do not leave their homes even for essential needs. On Monday, I visited a woman who is about to give birth but had not had any prenatal care. I contacted the social worker. She called the hospital and was able to make an appointment for the next day. Thank God she and her unborn baby are doing well, but she might need to go to Thessaloniki to deliver the baby.
I visited some new friends the Khorys who are Kurds from Syria. They had been introduced to Christianity in their travels and have now put their trust in Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They asked me to visit them, share tea, and help their children with their English lessons. When I arrived, the father was baking Syrian bread. As soon as each loaf of bread was baked, he put some spread on it, and gave it to his children. In no time, it was gone. After an hour, he baked some bread for himself and sat down to eat it.
I told the parents a story of my family and our pastor Iskandar Abskhiron. One day he came to visit us when we were about to eat lunch. When he drew near, he saw that my mother had given each of us eight children our own loaf of bread. He suggested that it would be better to share each loaf by breaking each loaf of bread into pieces and to giving each child pieces of bread until all were filled. That way, each child could eat until they were satisfied, and no bread would be left over.
After telling the story, I suggested to the parents that they prepare all the food at one time and sit down together to eat after giving thanks to God. I then shared the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand from the Gospel of John, Chapter 6.
As we press on with our relationship with the Lord, he leads us to his goal for us and all brothers and sisters. I pray we continue to press on with the help of God, who strengthens us.
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