I am leaving this Sunday for 10 days. I am going with a Lebanese brother and together we will be preaching the gospel. We will be handing out Bibles and audio Bibles as well as distributing aid, cleaning materials to nominal Christians and food to Syrian Muslim refugees .
Please pray that we will be kept safe and have many opportunities to explain the gospel and hearts will be opened and that people will come to repentance and faith.
A few weeks ago I was in Athens. Here is a report of the trip.
Fruitful Ministry in Athens
By Antony Simon
Once again, the Lord worked mightily among us as we spent five days in Athens, Greece, distributing New Testaments to primarily Muslim refugees and Greek nationals, but also to anyone else that would accept these gifts from us. In all, we handed out several hundred New Testaments in various languages to refugees and economic migrants.
We set out with almost 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of mainly Bibles and audio Bibles. The languages of these items include Arabic, Farsi (the Persian language of Iran), Greek, Sorani (the Kurdish language spoken in Iraq), French, Albanian, and Urdu (the Hindustani language of Pakistan and some parts of India).
We arrived at the place where we were staying at 4 a.m. and slept for a few hours. We then went out with three big bags containing about 200 New Testaments and other items of literature to distribute.
The day was a great blessing for us. We had many opportunities to share the Gospel and engaged in many conversations. Most of the people were happy to receive Bibles, and some began reading them as soon as they received them. We met some Jehovah’s Witnesses and were able to challenge them. We hope to continue our conversation if we meet them again during this trip.
We visited a refugee centre, and the people there eagerly accepted Bibles from us. Elsewhere, a large number of Greeks accepted New Testaments, from us, especially those we encountered in shops and supermarkets. We also distributed Bibles to pedestrians who stopped us to ask for directions. I stopped one woman who was smoking, told her that smoking is dangerous, and she ended up taking a New Testament I offered her.
We are running out of literature!
We had an amazing day, and it began with an encounter with a man on a train. While sharing the Gospel with him, we discussed Ephesians 2:8-9 in Greek. We then met him again as we were evangelizing outside a soup kitchen.
We arrived there with two large bags of Bibles and other Christian literature, and distributed so many New Testaments in Arabic and Farsi that we emptied our bags. One man asked me for a full Bible, I gave it to him, and he was very happy for the gift.
We met a number of Muslims who have left Islam and are now following Jesus. We also distributed New Testaments in Urdu to Pakistanis, a Gospel book in Bengali, and some Albanian New Testaments. One Greek man asked me for an extra New Testament for his two brothers. He was excited about our evangelism ministry and commended us for “doing an important job.” It’s always a blessing to receive kind words, as well as being able to distribute all of our Christian literature as we minister on the streets.
We went out with three bags of Bibles, audio Bibles, and other Christian literature. It was a good day with many opportunities.
We distributed many Bibles in Arabic, Farsi, and leaflets in Bengali. One refugee family could not read, so we gave them an audio Bible. Many Greeks took Bibles from us, and some took Bibles to give to their families.
It’s amazing how many Arabic speakers were smiling after receiving the Word of God. Some of the people we encountered already had Bibles we had previously given them, and showed us their copies. One man from Morocco was given a New Testament by a friend of ours a month ago, and he has since given his life to Christ and is now being discipled by our Iranian host.
A team of four went out to share the Gospel on the streets of Athens. We had three bags full of Bibles. I really don’t know how I carried such a weight and walked such distances over the past four days, but I can truly say my strength comes from the Lord.
We planned to go outside a Roman Catholic soup kitchen and hand out literature and talk to people, however, we got lost on the way. Yet, even in getting lost we met people we could minister to, handing out Bibles and getting into conversations. One Arab Syrian told me in a kind of sign language that he has a New Testament and is reading it. Also, we had conversations with a few Farsi speakers, and then got their phone numbers so we could follow up with them. We also handed out many Greek New Testaments.
Here in Athens, Jehovah’s Witnesses are very active, and I came across a man reading Watchtower magazine (the publication of the J.W.’s). I offered him an Arabic New Testament, telling him, “Watchtower is Haram” (banned in Arabic), so he tore it up.
In the afternoon we distributed many pieces of literature. I spoke to a Syrian Kurd who was tired of Islam and we had an excellent conversation. I also met some Syrian Palestinian refugees and in the end a young man named Walid accepted a New Testament.
During our time we met many Albanian Muslims and most accepted New Testaments. We then went to an Afghan section of Athens and handed out New Testaments and had several good conversations. We also chatted with a Pakistani who at first he accepted a New Testament, but afterwards returned it.
We met a married couple whom we offered a New Testament. Serval times the husband refused and the wife accepted. I turned to the husband and challenged him to give his wife the freedom do as she wanted regarding the New Testament I was offering.
Later, we met a Bengali woman in a shop who gladly received a Bengali New Testament. A little later, a kiosk operator accepted a New Testament.
I can say there is a great openness to the Gospel among Muslims, and our job of sowing seeds is indeed a blessing. I am sorry we could not get involved working with local churches, but we did work with an Iranian brother who is planting a church and disciplining new converts.
It was the final day of our trip, so we were only out for a short time. However, it was a good day as we continued to hand out more literature and engage in several conversations, including serval with Muslims who are disillusioned with Islam.
During our five days here, many Greeks accepted New Testaments, several others were angry with us, and one chastised us for proselytizing. I was also disheartened by the activeness of the Jehovah’s Witnesses compared to the relative inactivity of evangelicals.
Overall, however, the trip was a blessing as many unbelievers came in contact with the Gospel for the first time. Please be in prayer for these, as well as our team as we are already planning for our next outreach in Iraq.