Unwavering Hope – Larry Shingler

October 15, 2013

We left the metro and walked several blocks through a quiet worn-down Athenian neighborhood. We soon arrived at an upstairs apartment church.

Warmly greeted, we gathered among refugees representing several middle-eastern countries. The worship in a new language to all of us was harmonious, celebratory and filled the tiny room with tremendous joy. There were smiles on every face, and an  overwhelming sense of unity and peace.

Larry and Mary Shingler in Greece

Larry and Mary Shingler in Greece

She sat across the table from me with her two young boys after church. The boys looked at me with curious eyes. Dinner was served and they brought me the first plate, as a visiting guest. I passed it over to one of the boys. They then brought me two more plates and I passed them over to the mother and second boy. When all was served, we turned our attention to the simple meal of chicken, rice and peas. The mother with the colorful head wrap moved through her plate with singular purpose. The boys were content and at ease.

I was humbled to hear around the table, so many stories of hardship, pain and loss. Their journey to Greece was dramatic. Their conversion was life-changing, a game changer in every way. I looked across the table at the mother with the small soiled hands. She was recently beaten when word leaked out that she had become a follower of Jesus. Her boys pushed around on the school ground, surely Muslims did not becomes Christians.

The boys smiled and mother waved goodbye to me, as they quietly exited. New beginnings, new hope and against all odds. Persecuted for their faith, and living in the raw reality of total uncertainty.

I’m humbled beyond measure and totally amazed at a heavenly Father who calls, and loves and provides in the worst of times and in the hardest of times. In darkness He brings forth light. He aways shows himself to be faithful and graciously shows us how to hold on to our confession of hope without wavering, because simply stated, “he who promised is faithful.” Yes, I’m grateful and humbled beyond measure…