The Dutch group came to church again this morning; at the end of the service they performed a hymn for us (in Dutch) that they’d been practicing. It was another lovely morning of fellowship; the small chapel was pretty packed, and I’m sure we almost raised the roof with our voices!
We had another worship evening, and after I shared some thoughts on the joy of the Lord, and God breaking chains (like he did with Silas and Paul in Acts 16), Jules shared some times of abundant generosity from God, and we spent the rest of our time swapping stories of God’s goodness.
Happy Birthday Mel! We celebrated Mel’s 23rd birthday in several ways, including a cake with candles, and a trip to Jumbo. We headed to the bus station in Corfu Town and bought return tickets from the ticket booth (they charge you more if you try to buy them on the bus), and after 20 minutes of waiting at the bus station and Googling the times and bus routes to work out which one would get us to Jumbo, we realised that we needed to head down the main road to another bus stop. We got there just in time, and after 10 minutes we arrived at Jumbo.
Honestly, for someone like me (and all three of us, actually), Jumbo is a delight. Air-conditioned, 2 HUGE floors of goods at reasonable prices, and they sell almost anything you could want. We managed to find some things for our final event (Corfu’s Got Talent) including trophies and sweets for prizes, then we got the bus back into town. On the way back to the flat, Mel and I stopped at a panini and pizza shop – the resulting paninis were delicious (to the point where I still cannot stop thinking about them and would very much like to return there soon).
Chris and Mel set up the rainbow-coloured hammock they’d bought from Jumbo (only €12.99!) in the courtyard outside of church, and then we prepped for our second and final film night.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set within the Harry Potter universe, but is more of a backstory. Before Voldemort, the Dark Wizard on the rise was known as Grindelwald, and this film is the first in a series of five that will document his rise and eventual fall. The first film follows Newt Scamander, a Magizoologist, as he runs around New York trying to scoop back up the magical creatures that have escaped from his suitcase, aided by two fellow witches and a no-maj (a non-magical person). This is one of my absolute favourite films to come out recently, and I was really looking forward to sharing it with others.
The evening itself was certainly the most… interesting event we’ve run so far. We actually got five people who came purely from advertising online, and with a little table we’d been placing at the bottom of the street with signs on for each event. Two of them (who’d seen the advert online) were from Oswestry, which is where Chris and I are from! And they knew two friends of mine. I couldn’t believe it. The other three who came were a Greek lady and her two daughters.
Unfortunately, this is when the technological issues kicked in. Chris’s laptop wouldn’t work, and as the office with the spare computer in was locked, we were a little stuck. Eventually, we found a working DVD player upstairs that we could connect to the projector, but as there was no remote, we couldn’t add the Greek subtitles that we’d promised. We played the film up to about half way (with occasional skipping and jumping), and then it seemed that Mel had fixed Chris’s laptop! So, we took a risk and ejected the DVD, knowing that if this didn’t work, we wouldn’t be able to play the film again on the DVD player as we had no way of fast-forwarding it.
It worked! … for about a minute. Then the disc jumped again, and when we took it out to clean it, the laptop gave up the ghost. It was all very frustrating. We ended up cancelling the evening, as it was getting late. The good news is that all of the pausing and apologising and waiting for things to work had meant that we could provide more conversation and hospitality than we would have otherwise.
When everyone had left, we went outside and worshipped and prayed. Mel laughed about the fact that evidently the devil thought that the most “important” part of the evening was the film! But we were so encouraged that we’d had visitors from outside the church. God is still working here!
Jamie and Lisa are now regulars at youth café, which is wonderful. Chris and Mel entertained Jamie, while I chatted with Lisa. Some other people from church came by, including the church warden, Pauline, and a Scottish lady called Shauna. (There was also Jules, of course.) We had a big discussion about how expensive degree education is in the UK – when I told Shauna about how much debt I was already in after my degree, she asked, “Doesn’t that scare you?” I replied that as I’m unlikely to be earning over £21k any time soon, not really!
We had our final discussion evening, on having a personal relationship with God. Three of Jules’ children came with him: Josh, Amy and Katie. We had no Alexi or Amandine this time, which originally I was quite disappointed with, but Mel said later that she thought that Alexi was actually further along than the conversations we ended up having, and that it was probably a good thing that we ended on such a positive note with him last week.
The three of us went to visit the Byzantine Museum this morning, which is in the old old part of town. It’s a series of original (and very old) icons and artwork on display in an old Orthodox church. It meant we got to see the view from the other side of town (and they are quite possibly even nicer than the side of town we’re staying on!).
• We must be doing something right for our technology to be going downhill so spectacularly! Praise God that he is making sure our focus is staying on him and on the relationships that we’re forming
• Pray for Jamie and Lisa; the Dutch group who holidayed here; Gemma and her son, and the three Greek ladies who came to the film night; Shauna; Josh, Amy and Katie; Alexi and Amandine; and those who minister in the Byzantine Museum