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The Great Recycler

Greece | Nicky Hayes

Transform 2011 Volos Greece“Greece is such a beautiful country—as we were all reminded these last few days,” says Team Leader Theo. However, the Transform team saw a completely different picture as they spent their outreach picking up litter. “What a stark contrast, when rubbish is spoiling such ideal scenery,” exclaims Theo. “How we treat the beautiful creation we have been entrusted with reveals the state of our hearts.” One lady taking part must have realised this, as she burst into tears upon seeing the mess.     

The team of 10 joined the local evangelical church from 10-17 July in Volos, Greece. Amongst other things, they spent the mornings picking up rubbish from the streets and coast. In one morning, they gathered 104 large bags from a 150-metre area alongside a road.

“Gathering rubbish in the heat of the day, in the Mediterranean, was more strenuous than we would have thought,” remembers Theo. “Temperatures over 35˚C (95˚F) don’t help with the smell of it either!

“When the rubbish was stinking and disgusting, I was reminded of [Transform speaker] Richard Sharp's message on the street in Rome. He used rubbish as a metaphor for our stinking sin and what Jesus does with it,” continues Theo.

“Every time I would feel like turning my face away, I would be reminded of how revolting my sin must be to a Holy God; He, nevertheless, did not turn His face from us, but got down, and got His hands dirty, picking up and doing away with our sin. I am starting to think that Jesus is big in recycling, taking the stinky mess of our lives and advancing His good and loving plans—taking broken vessels like us and turning them into something useful.”

For more stories from Transform 2011, check out: www.transform.om.org.

Credit: Nicky Hayes email
© 2011 OM International email

Photos Greece

Greece :: Katies journey from Greece to Transform 2013 in Rome began when she became a Christian at age 19.
Greece :: OM Greece jump-starts the United for Impact worship event in Athens.
Greece :: Volunteers at a Greek church hand out foot to both Greek and foreign neighbours in a needy part of Athens.
Greece :: OM helps provide personnel and funding for Nea Zoi, a local ministry in Greece, which offers sewing classes designed to give skills and income to women working in the sex industry. Out of the seven or eight women involved in the class, all but one have been able to leave and are no longer working on the streets.
Greece :: An older man enjoys his coffee and meal at a feeding programme run by an Athenian church in partnership with OM Greece.
Greece :: Bread for a feeding programme in Greece, which provides meals for immigrants, refugees, and needy people in Athens.
Greece :: Eating at sidewalk cafes with friends and family is an integral part of Greek life. Here people enjoy a late dinner in Athens.
Greece :: A traditional Greek salad includes cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, olives, and large pieces of delicious feta cheese.
Greece :: Anthony (bottom right) came to Greece on a Transform 2012 outreach team, and is now serving longer-term at a drop-in centre and feeding programme.
Greece :: Women involved in Nea Zoi, a ministry in Greece reaching out to sex workers, learn how to make and sell handbags for a small income.

                   

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