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Seven weeks in Athens are over

Posted by gramma on November 17, 2018 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

  Our four-week, turned seven-week project, is now over. What a blessing it has been. We, and especially Steve, have thoroughly enjoyed teaching English to these refugees. Most have fled war or oppression, some have been on the move for more than four years and most are separated from their extended families. Mama Eleni and the Omonia church offer them the opportunity to be a part of a family, to be loved and accepted regardless of their beliefs or their ethnicity, to be part of wha...

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Our sixth week has come to a close

Posted by gramma on November 11, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

  Our sixth week here in Athens has come to a close. The second week of this teaching term is history. Our students continue to make progress. English teaching happens throughout the year using a wide variety of volunteer teachers who come for different periods of time. The two of us are highly unusual in that we will have taught the same classes for six straight weeks of instruction. More commonly, a teacher might only teach two or three weeks. Therefore, it is easy for some topic...

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We have been in Athens five weeks

Posted by gramma on November 4, 2018 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

  We have been here five weeks now and we had another fantastic week. It was the first week of our second teaching term. Some of the A0 students from the first term were passed on to A1 and some from A1 to A2 and some new people were added to A0 so every class had new students along with continuing students. All the classes are a little larger now. We are able to see progress in our students but only meeting four days a week for about an hour and a half, the advance is not mercurial ...

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Our fourth week in Athens

Posted by gramma on October 28, 2018 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

  Our fourth week is the so-called 'Coffee week' at Omonia. Everything was closed down or at least it was supposed to be. The two of us worked 'upstairs' all week, having one to one conversations using the gospel of Luke with six or seven of the students from Steve's A2 class. The Omonia church occupies two floors of an office building, the lower floor(on the third floor of the building the way Americans count floors) is where the church meets, where the kitchen is and where there is ...

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The End of Our Third Week

Posted by gramma on October 20, 2018 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

  Our plan had been to be here in Athens until October 31 and then move on to do a two-week Let's Start Talking project at Books and More library in Amman, Jordan, but that has changed. Apparently they have 'a local man who is determined to disrupt the goings on of the library.' He has been contacting library members and accusing the library of having a hidden religious agenda and making things very tense there. LST does not want to put the library in jeopardy so the project has been ...

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Our second week in Athens

Posted by gramma on October 13, 2018 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Our second week of teaching went very well. It is a joy to be able to touch the lives of those who have gotten the 'short end of the stick' in so many ways. Eleni sent us this link: https://vimeo.com/185717440?ref=fb-share&1 this week about a Greek Coast Guardsman who had had a hand in rescuing over 5000 refugees from the waters between Greece and Turkey. He has now passed away (at the age of only 44) and we wonder if it wasn't from a broken heart. We urge you to watch this documentar...

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We are back in Athens to teach English to refugees.

Posted by gramma on October 6, 2018 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (1)

We have been in Athens, Greece for a week now and God has blessed our time. We arrived Sunday evening and began teaching the next morning with no problem, a lttle jet lagged but not bad. There had been no English classes and no meals served in over a month because Operation Mobilization, who supplies many volunteers for the Omonia church refugee ministry, took a break for the month of September. Consequently numbers are down some but those refugees who come are the ones who appreciate the ...

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The three week teaching session is over

Posted by gramma on April 8, 2018 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow, three weeks went very fast, but it has been a blessing in many ways. It has been humbling to see how much is done for so many as this church, and the many people who volunteer, seek to be followers of Christ. Eleni told us the other day that someone had estimated that in the last two and a half years over 1000 refugees had been touched by the ministry and around 600 volunteers from all over the world have given of their time to this work. Every Tuesday and Thursday, when lunch is served,...

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Steve's second week

Posted by gramma on April 1, 2018 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Another week has gone by and this three-week teaching session is already two/thirds finished. Steve's students are making progress but fluency is not yet in sight. When your students start with essentially no English, it is a challenge when you are teaching IN English. So we are trying to focus on words and concepts that they might need in their daily lives; simple greetings, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, simple sentences using 'to be', vocabulary using pictures, etc. It ...

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Steve's first week in Athens, Greece

Posted by gramma on March 25, 2018 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

March, 2018 finds Steve back in Athens for three weeks with Val holding down the fort in Santa Barbara. This is not a normal Let's Start Talking project. As many of you probably know, because of its many islands close to the shores of Turkey, Greece has become the port of entry for hundred's of thousands of refugees fleeing war and/or oppression in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and other places. Some stay in Greece but most are seeking assylum in other, more prosperous European nations. ...

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