JULY 2015 THE ATHENIAN
July 04, 2015, Greece
Seven precious souls were baptized
in Athens, Greece.
The last few weeks we had Bible studies with many people and 7 precious people surrender their lives to Christ the Lord. We thank God for our members who are involved in evangelism. We praise God for many opportunities we had to share the good news of salvation with people who are searching for God. This is a very fruitful and successful mission field. We have been very busy teaching, baptizing and training young men and women to share the Word and evangelize.
A Greek lady who was raised in the south part of Russia was baptized. Eleni has been visiting several churches looking for the Truth. She was hungry and thirsty to learn the way to heaven. Several members studied the Word with her the last few weeks. She was so happy to be baptized and to give her life to Jesus.
Here is an email that we received from Mrs. Ann Doyle, the daughter of Dr. Everett Ferguson my mentor and professor at ACU. She came with her husband Doug Doyle, to spend some days with us in Greece.
We went straight from the airport to the meeting place of the Lord’s church in Glyfada. We were given a tour of the facilities by an immigrant from Ukraine who spoke English. There was a kitchen, where we were offered tea and coffee;
a library, a small sitting room upstairs where my husband would latter take refuge when jet-lag became too much. We had entered the “L” shaped meeting hall on the short side; at the back of the long end was the partially enclosed sound booth
for the simultaneous translators and their equipment-this is a multi-lingual church.
Sunday evening is the English-speaking service, but I lost track of how many countries were represented. The visitors included a tour group from the US and many Athenian residents who had come from afar for business or to escape war. After the regular
service, there was a baptism. Several immigrants were baptized and it was a joy to hear their confessions of faith in Jesus and see thewelcome given by the congregation.
Most of what was said was translated at least once, into English, Greek, or Farsi. The service included both statements by each new convert and statements from members of the congregation to each of them. Although the New Testament says very little about the baptismal ceremony itself, this was, I imagine, very much the way they must have welcomed new Christians’ birth.
The following week, a Bible student from Ukraine met us near our hotel and escorted us on the Metro the Sunday morning assembly of the Greek-speaking congregation. Preaching, prayers and hymns were mostly in Greek, but hymns were also sung in Russian and Bulgarian. The communion meditation was given in English and
translated into Greek. There were also simultaneous translators using the sound equipment to translate into at least two different languages. A young man came to sit with us on the back row so he could translate for us the sermon from John 11 - a message of comfort and hope because of the resurrection.
That day the meeting hall was arranged with rows of long tables behind every other row of chairs. After the service, alternate rows of chairs were turned around to face the table for the meal which followed. We were able to visit with many who spoke English, but also found willing translators to help us communicate with those who did not.
It seems that language one of the many barriers the gospel overcomes!
Easter is a major family holiday in Greece, and many residents of Athens return to their home villages to celebrate. The church in Glyfada had Easter dinner together as the family of God. Many there probably did not have the option of spending the day with their families, but others had chosen to bring their families to be with the church. Together they-and we!—-enjoyed the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Greeks, Turks, and Bulgarians. Some who still lived in the same house as their great-grandparents had, and others who had left homes far away and did not know where they will be living next month.
Laborers, business owners, children, university students and scholars. Great diversity, but all having been made one in Christ.
Last Thursday Debbie and I flew from Athens, Greece to Prague. Brother Matus and the Czech Christians invited me to be the keynote speaker for the retreat. Matus has been the coordinator of this annual retreat for many years.
We were so happy to see so many young people who have given their lives to the ministry and to missions and are now serving Jesus Christ and His church. They have started new congregations in the European countries and they have a great desire to preach the TRUTH. We were received with lots of love and hospitality and I had the privilege to preach the Word of God and encourage the young gospel preachers who live in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Germany,
The Retreat was also attended by several young American couples and their children who are missionaries in these countries. The topics that I spoke on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning were:
1) Paul’s ministry and Successful Methods of Evangelism.
2) Diversity, but not at the Cost of Unity. Romans 14th
3) The Presence of God in our Lives, Families and Ministry. Acts 18:9-10.
4) Preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. Romans 1:16
5) The Success of the Gospel at Corinth, while facing Divisions, Immorality, Persecution, FalseTeachers, etc.
We will never forget the amazing singing in several languages, led by very gifted song leaders from these local congregations. We had precious time for fellowship and prayer as well as discussions onissues that they are facing in their ministries and congregations. Eileen from Russia and Bart with his wifeTamika came as well.
Debbie and I, we returned back to Athens with great memories from the very successful retreat and we will never forget these wonderful Christians and the new friends we made in Central European countries.
We were uplifted, strengthened, and we all surrender our lives once again to the Lord.
We plan to visit the states in August in order to attend the graduation ceremony of our son Stephen on August 8th at Texas Tech University. Stephen will receive his PhD in Biology. Then we will go to visit Debbie’s only sister and her only one nice in Seattle, Washington. We have never been to her house. After Seattle we will fly to Denver , Colorado to visit for three days Debbie’s 92 years old ONLY aunt and her ONLY cousin. We have not seen them for more than 20 years. We ask for your prayers as we will be traveling next month as we will be spending time with family. We will return to Athens on August 25th.
Happy 4th of July
As you celebrate Independence Day we want to wish God’s blessings upon your nation and families. May we continue to enjoy the benefits of human rights, freedom of speech and religion as well as peace among the many nations of the world. We believe that Christianity brings blessings to the families, direct us to a correct way of living and give us hope and assurance for eternal life.
Dino & Debbie Roussos
P.O. BOX 70127, 16610
GLYFADA, Athens -Greece,