Marc and Denise Atchley - July 2020
With Marc & Denise Atchley
SPIRIT DRIVEN REVIVAL
"When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 (ESV)
We began to write this edition several weeks ago on Pentecost Sunday. And at the risk of sounding like the character Gus Portokalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) ... did you know that "Pentecost" comes from the Greek word Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē), which means "fiftieth" and marks the fiftieth day after Passover? In the Jewish tradition, this day was celebrated as שָׁבוּעוֹת (Shavuot), the Feast of Weeks, which signaled the end of the wheat harvest and also commemorated the anniversary of the giving of the Torah. Today, for the Church, Pentecost commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit!
We had planned to use this edition of Coffee Talk to ask you to pray specifically for a number of items ... and we still will. Yet as we considered the significance of Pentecost, we were reminded of how essential the Holy Spirit is to everything that we would ask prayer for. He is the one who comes alongside us to counsel and comfort us, and He chastens us so that we are increasingly (albeit slowly!!!) conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Through His sanctification process the Holy Spirit helps to direct our prayers toward the proper things. But even when we don't know what/how we ought to pray, He intercedes for us in accordance with God's will.
For years our church has been committed to gathering in small groups throughout the week to pray specifically for a Spiritual revival in our community, state and nation - a Spiritual awakening that, many times throughout history, has resulted from God answering the fervent prayer of His saints. And on Pentecost Sunday, our pastor took a moment to reflect on the giving of the Holy Spirit as He came in power upon the apostles and began to grow the Church in amazing ways, despite tremendous opposition. So before we ask you to join with us in praying for some special and timely needs that we have, we would like to ask you to join with us in praying for revival.
Considering the fear and anger that many in our society (and even others around the world) are experiencing, we need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church so that we can be the light and salt we are called to be. We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our communities, so that hearts and minds can be turned to Jesus and brought to repentance as the Gospel is shared through our words and deeds. If we are going to see our nation (and other nations) resemble anything that is pleasing to God, we need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to bring about societal transformation. He's done it in the past, and He can do it again Praise be to God!!!
Visa. Our plans were to leave for Greece in July, but now that departure date is uncertain. Originally scheduled for April 8, our appointment with the Consulate was cancelled and we're still waiting for an opportunity to re-schedule. Hopefully, by early July.
Despite knowing God's sovereign control over these delays, we struggle with frustration and impatience. Having completed TEAM's Pre-Departure Orientation in early June, this is the only obstacle (that we know of) keeping us from leaving. Please pray that God not only opens the door (wide), but also gives us patience as we wait on Him.
Manager. Marc continues to manage the coffeehouse. But as the time for our departure gets closer, the urgency to find his replacement grows. Please pray that God would help us to identify the right candidate in time to provide for a proper transition.
Please also pray for the shop's continued growth and eventual profitability. The coffeehouse is located just outside the central business district in an older but re-emerging area that is bridging downtown Knoxville to residential neighborhoods immediately north. It serves a unique mix of commuting professionals, university students, and local residents. It shares the block with a luxury condominium complex, yet is a stone's throw from the epicenter of the city's homeless population. We believe God has plans for this shop to be a Gospel light in this community.
House. We've tried to sell our house before, but God knew that we would need it until it was time to leave. With that time approaching, we're painting and making needed repairs to the exterior to get it ready for sale. Please pray that the workers are kept safe and that God blesses us with a great purchase price ... at the right time!
School. From the beginning, we've explored and prayed about the various educational options to pursue for our kids, and in the end we decided to enroll them in school when we get to Greece. For both Sam (a rising Junior) and Jack (Sophomore), we're trying to decide between two or more English-speaking schools. For Liam (7th) and Nita (4th) we are considering placing them in a neighborhood public school.
The price of tuition and any possible discounts from enrolling multiple children will certainly determine whether we could afford to put all of them in English-speaking school. But enrolling Nita and possibly Liam in a public school would likely help them to become proficient in speaking Greek more quickly. Both of them are scared about having to go to school where they can't speak the language, and it would undoubtedly be a challenge for them that first year, especially in Liam's grade.
The choice of English-speaking school will influence the area of town we decide to live in, and that in turn will determine our local school options. Please pray that God would provide clear direction as to which English-speaking school will be best for the kids along with a significant tuition reduction so that we have the flexibility to enroll all of them if that is the best decision. Please also pray that we would have wisdom regarding whether to put Nita and Liam in the local school.
Partners. We are so thankful for our partners! We know personally that praying and giving require sacrifices of time, energy, and resources. We're humbled by these investments and encouraged even more to commit ourselves to the work. Thank you for sticking with us these several years!
Marc and Denise Atchley
TEAM - Greece