The Refugees Change People

June 23rd, 2017

This morning my alarm went off at 5:00, then again at 5:15, and then AGAIN at 5:20. The goal was to wake-up in order to see the sunrise. Not ONLY did we want to the sunrise though, but also we wanted to see it as we swam. I got up, threw my bathing suit on, and went outside to the balcony that overlooked the beach. The sky was already beautiful and there was still another twenty minutes or so until the sunrise. Once Austin, Devon, Jordan, and Bill were all ready, we headed downstairs to the pool.

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The sunrise was absolutely beautiful and surreal to watch. We swam in the pool for a bit until the sun actually got closer to popping over the buildings. When it did we all stood taking photos and also just taking in the breath-taking scenery. Sunrises are amazing and so personal because although you can take really good pictures, it’s never going to be the same as actually seeing God’s creation in person. When the sun was up, a couple from Miami (originally from Colombia and Mexico) invited us to come over and pray with them. Carlos said before he prayed, “Don’t worry about closing your eyes, feel free to just bask in God’s creation.”

After we finished praying, we waded into the ocean (well, I was carried in by Austin), and froze our butts off. It wasn’t cold at first, but within ten minutes we decided to go back into the pool and then back inside. The ocean was special because there were so many fish swimming around us since we were the only ones in the ocean. Luckily, fish don’t scare me as much as birds do.

Back upstairs, I blogged on the balcony until breakfast had a relaxed breakfast with other BHC people, and then went back to blogging. I was falling behind and beginning to stress out about it.

Soon enough, it was time to once again have morning devotions with Trevor. This morning we sang a song called “The Summons” and the lyrics really spoke to me. Below I wrote out the first verse and here you can find the full lyrics.

“Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?

Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?

Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,

will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?”

The devotional reading came from Romans 12:9-10 and Romans 13:8-10. Trevor had us then repeat the statement, “Your love must be REAL,” over and over again until it had been repeated in six different languages. Love can be powerful if you let it.

We had a quick refreshment break before heading back inside for Jim Holway’s next session. This morning he would be talking about if we knew how to love ourselves. He shared his testimony in front of all of us and it was incredibly powerful and definitely strongly impacted the room. Then he gave us two things to do to learn to love ourselves: (1) see God’s spirit in YOURSELF and (2) see God’s spirit in OTHERS. He left us by saying how God loves us and we are beautiful. It reminded me of a year a camp a while back when Freddie Coile spoke about how we were God’s perfect masterpieces, handcrafted for a specific purpose.

We then had the opportunity to take vans into ancient Corinth and walk around. We were incredibly smushed on the van ride there because we had to fit twelve people into a van fit for significantly less, it was worth it though. IMG_6861.JPGIt was so cool to once again be where Paul preached and taught- he was in Corinth longer than anywhere else during his time of ministry. He came to tell the people in Corinth about how to better love and serve you and now we were here doing the same thing!

Once we finished walking around the archaeological site, we headed out to where the shops and cafes were. We found a cute little pottery shop that Stephanie and I bought a couple of hand-painted, handcrafted container/pottery-type things. Then we headed to the café to get coffee and wait for Eleni to come with the van to take us back.

After getting back to the resort we were both sweaty and starving. Luckily, we had lunch and the ocean to cure both of those ailments. While in the ocean, we had a very large goal to try to accomplish- Antony, Austin, Nicole and I were going to swim all the way out to a large rock that we could just barely see in the distance. We made it there and it was really satisfying to get in a cardio workout that did not hurt my foot. When we arrived, however, we were met by two surprises. The first was that all of the beaches were covered with sea urchins, so we were not able to actually stand anywhere. The second was that we had come across a couple of nude beaches, a clear example of the Greek culture. After treading water for quite a while, we gave up and Austin and I swam back while Antony and Nicole just walked up the beach.

Following our massive swim, we went to the pool to relax until it was time to change for women’s group and our session. During women’s group, we all just talked more about our experiences, especially our experiences here in Corinth. Then we had got up and actually had to wait for the men to be finished.

John Morgan, another one of the men from the UK, tonight gave the session to us. The topic was warm and cold hearts. The example that instantly came to mind was when the Westboro Baptist Church was protesting and screaming at students on UD campus and then the following day Blue Hens for Christ responded by passing out roses. Everyone longs for four things: to be loved, to be valued, to have meaning, and to have purpose. It is our call as Christians to bring those things to them through the love of Christ.For dinner, Austin and I were determined to get the best table. We did pretty well as we got Eleni, Trevor and his wife, Alexander, and many others to come and sit with us. Our table was constantly having people go in and out with glorifying conversation occurring the entire time. I had a conversation with Eleni about possibly coming back and volunteering during the month of January since I do not have school. I wanted to see the church when it wasn’t over-crowded with upwards of thirty volunteers.

For dinner, Austin and I were determined to get the best table. We did pretty well as we got Eleni, Trevor and his wife, Alexander, and many others to come and sit with us. Our table was constantly having people go in and out with glorifying conversation occurring the entire time. I had a conversation with Eleni about possibly coming back and volunteering during the month of January since I do not have school. I wanted to see the church when it wasn’t over-crowded with upwards of thirty volunteers.

After dinner, Austin and I just hung out by the pool for a while talking until it was time for our farewell meeting. The UK group started everything off by singing a slew of songs with motions that brought me directly back to Son Country at Crossing. When they finished the children class and teen class shared a bit of what they had been learning. Then, Eleni opened up the microphone for anyone to talk and share their experiences. I went up and talked about the day that Eleni said the refugees would change us, and not in a negative way. I could now say with confidence that the people and my time in Corinth had changed my life.

When it was over, I relaxed upstairs on the balcony and then in Austin’s room talking with him and blogging until finally, I slugged into my own room and bed.

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