Monday, 20 February 2012

Lunch - Greek Style

Last Sunday we had lunch with the pastor of the evangelical church here in Trikala, Giorgos and his wife, Paraskevi, also with their daughter Litsa and son-in-law, Nick who is our English translator at church. Giorgos is around 83 years old and has told stories about during WW II when he was  13 years old and all the people in his village were being rounded up in the town square by the Germans. They knew what their fate might be because in another town nearby over 300 people had been killed. 
The priest in the village offered his life to the captors and pleaded with them to spare the villagers. He said we have beef, pork, and vegetables - take what you need but spare the people.  And the Germans did that, they took the food and spared the villages, even the priest.  Giorgos thanks God for sparing his life when he was 13 years old.  He became a Christian when someone visited him in the hospital in the 1960's and in 1971 they founded a small church in Trikala - the small city near the village where he grew up.  
The new church endured persecution in the town and had the building permits revoked and they had to fight until 1978 when they were able to start  in a new building by registering it first as a business. That building is close to the downtown and Giorgos is still leading the small congregation there 34 years later. We had a really nice time with them even though they don't speak English and we don't speak Greek (very well yet!) They were delighted though to hear us use the few words that we know. We've been going through a Pimsleur's audio course daily, and Nick will also be giving the boys some lessons.
 We also bought a Valentine's Day cake and shared it with Petros and his parents.