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.


  1. I am not surprised the Germans took the food. They were as hungry as everybody else.

    Do the people there talk about their present-day difficulties. The press here is always on about the Greece and its big money problems.

    Possibly euros buy more there than in other parts of Europe, right now.

  2. War is never kind to anyone involved - invader or invadee. You would think by now we would have evolved from it. I too, have wondered how the current situation in Greece has effected you all. It is such a prominent fixture on national news here and each day brings more anarchy,chaos, and despair for the people of Greece. I've been reading "The Trouble with Billionaires" and just the shear scope of how much money a billion is let alone hundreds of billions is practically beyond comprehension. How will Greece as a nation recover with so many billions owed? How can any of us not be effected by this? Perhaps your tiny town is the one bit of heaven in Dante's inferno of financial collapse and human suffering. In reading how the Germans "took" and how others "gave", I am moved to ask myself what sacrifices I would be willing to make so others will not suffer and to appreciate all the more the gifts I have that allow me to wake each morning safe, without fear, knowing I will have food on my table.

    1. "Perhaps your tiny town is the one bit of heaven...."


  3. Nobody's happy here, but somehow life still goes on. On the other hand, people are making far less money, and the cost of heating petrol has doubled in the past year. So your basic cost of living is going far, far, far through the roof relative to your income. Tuition for university is free, but what's waiting at the end? So yes, it's on everyone's minds here. Minimum wage has just been cut to <600EUR/month, and our heating petrol bill for the past ~5 weeks was >500EUR!

  4. I am sure it must weigh heavy on all of you that in the end, you have a place to go where heating bills are not 100 Euro a week and your post secondary eduction is valued and well compensated for. Sadly, for many in Greece that will not be the case. Life may go on as that is what we do - we endure. Life, as Buddha said, is suffering. But suffering should never be ignored nor placated. Without voice, it will not be heard. And once said, you must open your ears and listen.