Greece Family Gathering Trip Wrap-Up
How do you summarize a week like we just had? It is impossible in just a few paragraphs, but we can at least present some key points that hit home for us in a way that would not have been feasible if we had not attended the Family Gathering event. We came as teachers, but perhaps it was us who learned the most this week.
First of all, the body of Christ is truly global. The fact that we could come together and experience an immediate connection with people from other parts of the country and different parts of the world who we had never met before attests to the unifying power present in Jesus. It transcends culture, nation of origin, race, gender and age. Those of us who knew each other beforehand, adult and child, deepened those relationships, but even those who we had never met before instantly became our brothers and sisters. The third culture kids (TCK’s) upon arrival saw others they had perhaps not seen for years and had a reunion of sorts, but they readily incorporated other TCK’s into their cadre as well. Cliques and divisions were nonexistent, and it was not unusual to see a group of kiddos ranging in age from 2 to 15 playing well together and looking out for each other during our free time. It was Ephesians 2:14-22 lived out (look it up!).
Secondly, these servants of Christ need our support. Certainly, our churches support them financially, and we must continue to do so. But we must also support them by giving them our hand of fellowship. Many of them face loneliness and isolation while serving in regions where the gospel is rejected or suppressed. We must empower them with not only our prayers but our friendship. One family with five kids under the age of six was so thankful that our team simply helped load plates at the buffet for their little ones each evening. We can only hope and pray that the time these global workers and TCK’s spent with us and with each other this week provided them a much needed time of refreshing.
Finally, it became evident that while we have received a good many of our rewards in the here and now, these global workers and their families will receive a good many more in the hereafter. They have foregone the comforts, conveniences, support systems, and perks we often take for granted and have done so out of love for Christ and those in the nations where they serve. One little girl told Mr. Gummy that she’s not supposed to talk to strangers about what her Daddy does, because they might get into trouble. They face deprivation, solitude, rejection and sometimes danger in their service to the gospel. They do so realizing that they will receive few accolades or recognition. They do so looking to the author and perfecter of their faith (Hebrew 12:1-3).
As we experience the bittersweet separation from the TCK’s and their families we have grown to love dearly in such a short span of time, we are truly thankful for this opportunity. Even when considering the backdrop of breathtaking scenery in Greece, the historic sites and the beaches, the highlight of the trip was truly these kids, their families and our fellow servants in the body of Christ. We consider it a prelude to the day that people from every tribe and nation will stand before the throne of the Lamb in heaven (Revelation 4:9-10). Let us experience more fully a foretaste of this time while on this earth together.