RHP Europe Roundtable in Athens
End of January 2022. Here I was in the midst of a crowd of more than 400 people from over 47 different nations in Athens, Greece. I had just quit my job and left the safe shores of a life as salesclerk and “spare-time church minister” to follow this still small voice in my heart to unknown waters. All I knew was, that God had called me to let go of my comfortable life to have empty hands for Him to fill them with His purpose. I knew He had called me back to my people, who were oppressed, depressed, traumatised, displaced and driven out once more from their home country. I was once like them and I could feel God’s heart to bring them home to His Kingdom, to show them where they belonged, to give them a new citizenship – one which is not of this world. And even more, I could feel that the hour had come for those that God had called to be leaders among their people, those that were hungry and thirsty for righteousness, to rise and shine. But they would need encouragement and training.
So, after two short mission trips to Lesvos and Thessaloniki (Greece) during my holidays from work in the past year, now my first stop on the way into full-time missions was again Greece. The Refugee Highway Partnership Europe Roundtable was an amazing place to get inspired, to connect and to share experiences and dreams.
But the first day was not easy for me, I was standing among the crowd with a burning heart and empty hands, and although I was surrounded by amazing people with big dreams and a similar vision, I felt alone. Unlike most of the conference attendees I had come without a team, without a “sending organisation”, just me and the call in my heart. You can imagine the impact it had on me, when the topic of the first message of the main speaker was “You are not alone”. At that moment peace settled in my heart – I knew, I was in the right place and I was definitely not alone.
So the Roundtable in Athens turned out to be the perfect starting point for my journey onwards, as the focus of this year was Afghanistan. There were many opportunities to share testimonies, best practices, to meet new faces and – how amazing is God! – old faces from a long time ago, where my journey of seriously following Jesus in Afghanistan had just begun. I could only express my gratitude to those friends who had invested into my life at the cost of endangering their own lives many years ago when I was still a field to be plowed. Now I could show the fruit to my former teachers and share my dream of multiplying this fruit even more in the future.
My appreciation goes to all those hardworking people from RHP who have made this gathering reality for all of us and who continue to serve the most vulnerable of our world with diligence and excellence!
In upcoming posts I will take you a little bit back into my history to help you understand where I am coming from. And of course I will report about the next stops that followed on my journey.