Organization: One Collective
Location: Athens, Greece
About This Ministry:
Kenn and Lisa work with One Collective (formerly known as International Teams) to minister to Refugees in Athens, Greece. OC’s goal is to reveal Jesus to refugees by demonstrating and proclaiming the gospel; to see lives transformed. Their passion is to plant gospel seeds in the lives of refugees across Greece that take root and bear the fruit of life transformation in Jesus Christ.
They do this through the following ministries:
- Tea House – welcoming refugees and sharing a cup of tea
- Food distribution – sit down meals and grocery packs
- Language Classes – English and modern Greek
- Hygiene Ministry – showers and limited laundry services
- Sharing Jesus and Disciple-making – outreaches, classes, and retreats
- Clothing distribution and give-away events
- Children’s Ministry – weekly program, camps, and special events
- Networking and referrals – guiding refugees through the maze of offices and paperwork
A recent update from the Dirrims:
(They host an annual summer camp at the ocean; this is an update after their week at camp)
“It was the most pleasant weather of any camp I have been at in Greece. It was warm enough to appreciate the sea in the afternoon, but cool enough to sleep well in the tent at night. The weather was a gift from God. It rained (thunder, lightening, heavy rain) every day after camp finished for a week.
We had 90 staff from 18 countries (and we needed every last one of them). We had another 90+ campers. Of those, we had 25 kids that were too small for the kid’s program that belonged to me and team “Baby”. Five were babies that were too small to walk that needed to be held. Another 5 or 6 walkers were insecure enough that they needed the attention of an adult focused just on them. Even after that we still had 15 more! God blessed us with many hands to make the work light, but it was still quite a week. This was about double the number of small kids than any previous camp. We did everything we could to make them want to be with us and not their parents.
Some of my favorite memories from the week aside from my times with the babies, include watching the women learn to swim, shoot arrows, kayak and climb the wall. We also had Afghan women leading two of the discussion groups while the missionaries stepped aside and were their assistants. The programs were all taught in Farsi by a former Iranian who is now on the pastoral staff at a church in California and by the Afghan pastor of the local Afghan Fellowship. We have come a long way from when everything was translated from English.
The best part was the closing session. The Afghan pastor asked all of the believers to come forward. This pretty much cleared the audience when the staff joined the Afghan believers. It left about 25 Muslim adults still sitting in chairs and nearly 100 clustered around the front. I have sat in lots of altar calls in my life in the western church, but usually a few stand alone and make their way to the front, while the majority sits. It blessed my heart to see it done in the eastern way. I think Jesus was smiling as he watched. In that mix at the front were 2 couples (husband and wife) who wanted to be baptized. They shared their stories and then we laid hands on them and prayed for them. Afterwards, we all moved down to the sea to watch them be baptized. The Muslims sat front and center and cheered as the new believers went under and sang with us “this is the day the Lord has made” (in Farsi) as they came up. I’m a little weepy even now thinking about it. Some years there has been so much animosity between the believers and the Muslims or between the Afghans and the Iranians. This year there was a sweet, sweet spirit. I heard that two more were baptized in the Afghan church after camp.
Did we have mosquitoes? Yes. Did we have giant huntsman spiders? Yes. (You should google it.) Did we sleep in tents? Yes. Was I sick? No. (I was sick clear up until the day we left.) Did we have long, long days? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Camp is a special place where God does amazing things. May God be the peace in your heart today. Continue to pray with me that every man, woman, and child who went to camp will eventually give their heart to Jesus.
Lisa and Kenn Dirrim”