‘Operation Athens’ is in the works for 2023.
In preparation for this mission the question must be begged: Why go to Greece?
Certainly, the deployed ECPC operatives will exercise their unique abilities, special skills, and general helpfulness in Athens. However, the primary purposes of the mission are as follows:
1. GLIMPSE our future. America has long deceived itself with the notion that she’s “God’s chosen nation.” And because of this, most Christians in America don’t have an accurate or healthy view the fact that we are actually strangers, aliens, and exiles in this world. The bride of Christ (as depicted in the book of Acts) thrives on this earth as a persecuted, sojourning, minority. This reality is emphasized in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For instance, a robust example of our status, schemes, and ventures are displayed in the posture and pursuits of Daniel living in Babylon. By going to Greece, the ECPC operatives will be getting a glimpse of a nation that regards Christians as exceedingly strange, foolish, and offensive. US based disciples of Jesus have unwittingly presumed upon many societal privileges and perks, but those perks will be displaced by persecution in the not too distant future as America forsakes her history of feigning theocracy; and thus it is imperative that US based disciples of Jesus get exposure and experiences in nations wherein following Jesus is considered exceedingly queer.
2. EXPOSURE to excitement for disciple-making. American based followers of Jesus tend to be lethargic when it comes to the shrewd & sharp-witted work of the Gospel. There are sundry opportunities to operate with Danielesque creativity, compassion, cleverness, and care; but these opportunities typically go unnoticed and unutilized. In Athens the ECPC operatives will be exposed to the zeal, zest, zing, and pep of people like Έρικ & Χαρά in their element, and our goal is to get infected with their fervent ways of leveraging everyday interactions with neighbors, and their eager efforts to expose their non-Christian friends to the Kingdom of Heaven. As we see the real-life, in living color, modern day, everyday, missions activity of our Greek siblings in Christ, we will come to notice how joyful, savvy, and steadfast Kingdom work is always available to us in our everyday lives in ECLT. Our experience in Athens will ignite and increase our zeal to participate in the work of the CLT Eagles, Project 658, the Simmons YMCA, etc.; and to seize the sundry personal opportunities we have to serve our neighbors and friends in and around ECLT.
3. TITUS. One of the most joyful, steadfast, and savvy kingdom workmen in history was a dude named Paul. Paul’s best friend was a dude named Titus. This friendship was strange, because Paul and Titus grew up in diametrically different cultures. Their upbringings were so different that many people considered it impossible to have even an inkling of a relationship with someone across these cultural lines. But alas, God authored and perfected a robust friendship between Paul and Titus. For all Paul’s shrewd strategizing and steadfast hardwork, there were explicit moments whence Paul had to prioritize simply being with his friend Titus. For example, there was this one time when Paul was working in Troas, and God was opening doors (i.e. business was booming!); but Paul’s spirit was not at rest because he needed to find, and spend some time with, Titus to see how he was doing …so Paul left the lucrative work in Troas and went to find, and spend time with, his friend (see 2 Corinthians 2). One of our long-term goals is to experience God authoring and perfecting these kinds of friendships with our Greek siblings in Christ. We want long-term friendships! We want to be compelled to go again and again to Greece, simply to spend time with our good friends. We want our Greek friends to come and spend time with us in the states. We want to love one another well, and by this (simply loving one another) the world will know we are disciples of Jesus (see John 13).