Marc and Denise Atchley - June 2018
Coffee Talk With Marc & Denise Atchley
If you've ever had a flight delayed or cancelled, you can probably imagine the disappointment and frustration one might feel to have major life plans put on hold. Most of you know that our "plans" were to move to Athens by this July (2018). We had assumed we could raise our funds within a year and a half, and we wanted to allow at least a month or so to acclimate to Athens before the kids started a new school year. Plus, there would be so much work to do before the coffeehouse could be expected to open -- there would be at least a year devoted to concentrated language studies, and then all the time required to work through the bureaucratic red tape of starting a business (in a county whose laws and culture are completely new to us). And there was no time to lose ... think of how much ministry could happen today if our coffeehouse were already up and operational! So, back in February 2017 we set our mind and hearts to leave for Greece by summer 2018. We prayed about it and gave it to the Lord, and we (or at least one of us) were confident that God would see the wisdom of our plans and make it happen.
Apparently God's plans for us were different. He continues to confirm our call to Greece through many deepening relationships with Greeks and Greek-Americans. He has also provided many generous partners who are supportive of us and this vision for ministry in Athens. Twenty-two individuals, families and/or churches have committed to contributing monthly or annually, and another twelve have given one or more times. This is sacrificial giving for which we are very thankful! But it is costly for TEAM to place a family in Greece, and we seem to have stalled at just under 30% of our budget requirements. So we continue to share our call with individuals, families and churches.
Of course, funding really isn't a problem for God, and we trust that He will continue to draw partners to this ministry. Beyond engaging prospective partners, God must have additional things to accomplish before He is ready to send us on. Even in recent weeks and months He has placed us in the path of people who have questions about true Christian faith, and we're delighted to come alongside them on their journey.
Please pray for us as we seek to be patient and faithful while we wait for God to clear us for departure. And if you are not already partnering with us, would you please pray about whether God would have you to do so?
Click here to watch an 8-minute video produced by MTW back in 2013. The video gives a great introduction to how one of our local partners, the Greek Evangelical Church, is responding to needs and opportunities in Athens. We are already getting to know these brothers and sisters, and we're excited to be a part of their strategy for reaching the lost in Greece.
Marc & Denise