by David Fleming
Paul in Athens – Preaching At the Aeropagus – At Mars Hill – In Corinth – In the marketplace – Before Gallo in Cenchrae – Completing preparation for the Nazarite vow – Departing Cenchrae.
Paul was a great man and apostle. We still learn and are admonished by the many words he penned and left for us. By the grace of God, on our return from Ukraine, we were blessed by seeing many of the places Paul saw in Greece. Standing where he may have stood, imagining from the ruins the scenes as he saw them, we felt a sense of awe, yet fulfillment at being where he was, remembering his words and the impact they must have had on the hearers.
Through all this, the importance of the work we had just completed was not lost, but was made more vivid. The Lord had said: “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16.
At times we grumbled about supposed hardships (inconveniences, really), and at times were uncomfortable with some circumstances in which we found ourselves, but never did anyone feel we were unable to do the work we were sent to do, nor did we feel physically mistreated by anyone.
I can imagine Paul looking at some events in our travels we considered disagreeable (or for that matter, most of us who travel to do mission work), and putting us in our place by relating his shipwrecks, imprisonments, beatings, etc. Makes you feel really blessed, doesn’t it?
We were blessed by associating with good and godly people at every turn. Everywhere we went we were met by smiling children, eager to learn. It was exciting to know that at the very least, we were planting seed. There were many kids who remembered us from last year. This was brought home by one boy who asked “Where is the guy who makes sounds like trumpets and other things (Phil).” They do remember!!
We want to thank each of you who helped us in any way. We especially thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Nor do we neglect to thank our families and loved ones, without whose kindness and support the trip would not have been possible. Most of all, thank God for all opportunities to serve, small and great, near and far. Slava Bogu!