Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Well, it’s been an interesting and somewhat a crummy week for me. Even during this crumminess, God did some great things. I was going to make a post out of the week, but something happened today and I would like to talk about it instead.
I have this friend whose name is Melody. She came to GFA as a student a couple of years ago. By God’s grace, at one point she was assigned to work in the department I coordinated at the time. I could tell Melody came from a conservative background just by the way she dressed (nothing wrong with that, by the way). She came to us from a group called “Charity.” I knew absolutely nothing about them until Melody and I sat down to lunch one day in our cafe’ at the office where she told me all about them. I’m still not sure I understand Charity, but I greatly admired and respected Melody for living what she believed. Anyway she graduated and left here. I know she would have liked to move on and go to work with some missions agency where she could work with children. But she agreed to return home for at least two years and home school her two younger brothers. Another aspect of Melody that I liked, she generally puts the needs of others above her own. Melody graduated from our school and went home. I was able to hear from her once in a while.
A few months ago, I got a general email from Melody announcing that she had an opportunity to go to Greece and work in a refugee center for the summer. In all honesty, I had been reading about that on the internet and secretly, well maybe not so secretly, wished I could go and serve there. Sometime in toward the end of April, Melody grabbed her luggage and headed off to Greece. On May 8th Melody wrote an email with her first impressions of the compound. It has many levels, one which has hot water and all the refugees know about it. There are also government officials around as well as military police and all the volunteers must strictly follow their directions and obey all their rules. Melody mentioned that she found that frustrating because all they could do was say “no” to the requests of the refugees. Usually the refugee requests were simple like a cup of chai tea or if the volunteers could save a little food for family members who weren’t in the compound at the time. But the answer was the same, “no.” Melody finds that very frustrating. She found a way around that a little by observing something one of the other volunteers did. Melody went out and bought some chai tea and some sugar. The next time someone came in and asked for chai tea, Melody happily told them YES, even when he asked if he could put five teaspoons of sugar in it.
Today’s email (May 20th), went into a little more detail about things but mostly described a riot that took place in the compound. It started on Melody’s day off so none of the volunteers were allowed in. Melody found that frustrating too, as she had made friends with several families and was concerned for the mothers and the children. The government also made a new rule that from now on, when a riot broke out that all volunteers would have to immediately evacuate. Guess what, Melody didn’t like that rule either. She thought it was cowardly for them to try to save themselves and leave the others to fend for themselves. (side note: I think Melody is a little more feisty than I remember). Anyway, it took two days but things finally settled down and the people got back to work. Melody asked us to pray that their would be peace in the compound.
But the best thing about being there for Melody, is the great things that God is doing. The workers are not allowed to openly witness to the people. But as they make friends with the people they are able to talk to them anyway. She mentioned that three people were saved in one week. It is also surprising how many Muslims are open to talking about Jesus. Some are honestly searching and some are open to talking but are definitely closed to the truths about Jesus. Melody asks for prayer for that.
I’m not really sure I wanted to write this tonight. I think I just wanted to share something different and bring a little insight to the plight of these refugees, as well as the young people, like Melody and her sister Emily, who take themselves out of their comfort zones and even put themselves in some danger to serve the Lord in this way. If you think of it, please pray for Melody and the other young people working at the compound in Greece. God bless you.