A House Away from Home: 2022 Greece Trip
Orangewood Church

“This blog was written by Orangewood Church and Missions Team Member, Kim Reid.”

When first approached to consider joining the Orangewood mission team heading to Community House Damaris in Athens, Greece, this year, I was truly honored.

I was humbled by the thought of working among individuals devoting their lives to “…empowering women and their children – who have been sexually exploited and trafficked – with the opportunity for recovery, restoration, and reintegration.” (Damaris Mission Statement) I was humbled by the thought of somehow being a small part of these young women’s stories. But I questioned my value as a member of this team and my ability to contribute. Satan always loves to put his “two cents” into the conversation by interjecting self-doubt and fear. I am so grateful for my family and friends that challenged those thoughts and encouraged me to answer God’s call to make the trip. 

In working with the staff at Community House Damaris for the week and listening to the stories of how the ministry came to be, I was in awe of the faith these individuals have. They saw a need, answered the call to meet those needs, and trusted God’s provision at each step in building this truly life-changing community.

These are strong women and men of faith who created a safe community in which to take these women and children in, love them with the love of Christ, give them rest, meet their needs for food and shelter, provide opportunities for personal development, reintegrate them into society by teaching them skills, and empower them to recognize their God-given talents, strengths, and potential. They have relied on God to provide for the needs at hand, and He has been faithful to provide. 

I came home with such a sense of empowerment in witnessing the faithful obedience of the beautiful team (staff and volunteers) that makes Community House Damaris so effective. I reflected with remorse on the number of times God has placed something on my heart, and I have neglected to listen or follow through with action to make a difference or serve. It is life-changing when you witness the beauty of a life redeemed by the Lord through the work of those who are willing to listen and obey. I want to continue to be a part of that. It brings such joy. I was once asked, “Do you believe the Lord can redeem anything?” My answer was yes, and it continues to be so emphatically.

Our team of four from Orangewood felt blessed with the power of the Holy Spirit in planning content and activities for the women that week. We truly felt His presence in allowing us to engage as a teaching team, connect with the women at Damaris, and grow in spiritual friendship along the way. We were asked to lead a discussion and present material that allowed the women to develop greater self-awareness in seeing their unique gifts, talents, and abilities. We were also intentional in helping them to see and appreciate the uniqueness and value in others too. We made multi-colored bracelets with the women that beautifully displayed the qualities they had in common with one another and the things that made them different. We could discuss the qualities that set us apart as “fearfully and wonderfully made” daughters of Christ.

One of the highlights of the time spent with the women was connecting with them creatively and playfully to build trust and rapport. Watching them laugh as we played games, seeing them smile or sometimes shed a tear as we shared during discussion, and feeling their warm embrace as we said our “goodbyes” was precious.

They have endured so much in the short lives they have lived thus far. Having the opportunity to love them with the love of Christ, even if just for one week, left an indelible mark on my heart. I am reminded of the preciousness of every individual and my responsibility to love others well, as Jesus commanded us. I pray that the lessons we taught the ladies on healthy relationships with self and others, rooted in our relationship with the Lord, will live on in their minds and hearts as they heal and grow.


-Orangewood Church and Missions Team Member, Kim Reid.