I’m Izzy and in April 2018 I joined the Kingsgate team going to Athens to support the refugees. I was super excited to go as I had wanted to join the trip the previous year but had too much on, and the trip didn’t disappoint.
I was put up by a young Christian Greek couple in their lovely flat. They gave me keys to come and go as I pleased and were really welcoming. It was really nice to stay with Greek Christians and to be part of the culture out there and to get to know them and their faith, to find out how similar we are due to the common thread of our faith in Christ.
The mission itself was really varied and we helped look after the refugees’ children as the parents applied for asylum. Most of the children spoke amazingly good English so we could communicate easily.
We also helped pack the donations in the warehouse at the church out there and got to know some of the members. We went to provide activities for the Roma gypsy children at their site. We helped out at a day centre for refugees and got lots of opportunity to interact with them there and my favourite part of serving out there was when we went to cook for about 350 Syrian refugees who were staying in an abandoned hotel. There we cooked with the Syrain presidents’ chef who is friends with Stavros (the pastor from the church out there). This guy knows how to cook! We cooked in the hotel kitchen which was still in working order. He taught me to cook Tzatziki in mass – a great experience! We then served the food to the refugees.
It was also great to be part of the KingsGate team and get to know some of the family that I don’t know so well. Overall a really spiritually uplifting experience to be a part of what God is doing in the wider church.
We also had a day off to explore, where I went to the beach and also the Acropolis. I fully recommend getting involved in mission trips like this!