Greece Mission

I’m excited to announce that this April, God willing, Ed and I will be going on a mission trip to Greece! We’re joining a group from the Indiana House of Prayer and Equipping (IHOPE), some of whom we know from church and some of whom we’re getting to know for the first time. This is my first international mission trip, and Ed’s previously been to Tanzania and Russia for mission work.

The current plan is to start in Athens, where we’ll work with the House of Prayer for a couple of days and then with the refugee camp in the city. Then we’ll go to Loutraki, a suburb of Corinth, to train, worship, pray, and encourage at the House of Prayer there.

Greece. Photo Credit: Daniel Jones (www.arielgaze.com)

Photo Credit: Daniel Jones (www.arielgaze.com), from the first Greece trip.

We’ll be working with Paul and Rebecca Stuart, who have followed God’s call to move their family to Greece and who are the most absolutely delightful people. They are working with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) as base directors in Corinth. You can read their blog and see their photos at www.stuartsonamission.com.

If you want to support Ed and me, you can pray for us! I’m sure more specific prayer requests will arise as the trip draws near, but for now, here’s a short list:

  • Pray for each team member’s daily walk with God.
  • Pray for unity in the team that’s going to Greece, and in our families.
  • Pray we will bring God’s hope to those who are hopeless in Athens, Corinth, and Loutraki.
  • Pray for safe and smooth travel there and back, with no logistical or legal snags.
  • Anything else you can think of. 🙂

If you want to support the mission financially, you can send contributions for the general trip or for individuals’ travel funds. Ed and I are already covered financially (praise God!), but if you feel led to help with the trip in general, or other team members’ travel funds, you can send checks (tax-deductible!) to:

IHOPE
P.O. Box 50952
Indianapolis, IN 46256

Don’t put a note on the memo line, but attach a separate note that says “Greece Trip” or similar for funds to be used on the trip. If you know someone else who’s going and you’d like to support that person, include his or her name on the note as well. You can also donate through IHOPE’s website: www.ihopeindy.com/donate-to-ihope.html. Follow the instructions for secure donations, choose “missions trip”, and put “Greece Trip” (with or without a person’s name) in the notes.

Thanks for your prayers and support! If you have any questions, we’ll do our best to answer them or put you in touch with someone who can.

Eyes to the Hills

Do we understand what is meant by the psalmist who lifts his eyes to the hills?

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

– Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV)

I have heard Christians declare that God, our help, is coming from the hills—that we look and there He is! And for a long time, I assumed that’s what the psalm meant. But the third chapter of Jeremiah makes it sound rather different:

Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see:
Where have you not lain with men?
By the road you have sat for them
Like an Arabian in the wilderness;
And you have polluted the land
With your harlotries and your wickedness.

Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills,
And from the multitude of mountains;
Truly, in the Lord our God
Is the salvation of Israel.

– Jeremiah 3:2, 23 (NKJV)

The ESV’s more literal translation of that latter verse gives, “Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.” When I ran across Jeremiah 3:23, in the New King James translation, a few months ago—the day after the election, if I’m not mistaken—of course it brought the beginning of Psalm 121 to mind.

But I heard the psalm differently, this time. I heard it like this: “I lift my eyes up to the hills, but where does my help actually come from? Not there. My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth.”

We lift our eyes to Capitol Hill, but the hill is a delusion, and truly in vain do we hope for salvation from it. Where does my help come from? My help comes from God alone.

(Note: Matthew Henry’s commentary of the psalm actually mentions both meanings, and you can find it at Blue Letter Bible.)