Geoff and Marilyn serve as Chaplain in Corfu, they meet people at what can be a reflective time, and find unexpected connections far from home! 

Being a resort chaplain is a great opportunity to meet with people and have time for them. As well as being with and for local residents it provides the chance to get alongside those who are on holiday.
Often, while on holiday, we take time to process events in our life, the celebrations and the challenges. People we meet may feel able to open up and share in a safe environment what is going through their hearts and minds, which may not happen in their home setting. We are there for them and equipped to offer support and offer prayer, with them and for them, to talk through questions of faith if desired or simply be alongside them.

Last year in Corfu it was great to meet British residents and share with them in a game of croquet, which I had never played before and also to meet up with others for a game of table tennis. A memorable occasion was going into a Greek restaurant, struggling with best very limited bit of Greek after which the waiter replied to me in broad Yorkshire, which I speak too! He and his wife, also from Yorkshire, had recently moved out there to start a new life. They said they recognised me from somewhere. It turned out that I had taken the funeral service for her grand father. It can be surprising who we meet and how often paths have crossed before. 

When we are next out in resort we look forward to meeting both residents and holiday makers and seeing what ways have been opened up for us to share our faith. It is always a joy to meet people and although the time together may be brief, it feels that the relationship is deep as there is such an openness and willingness to share. 

I am always reminded of and supported by the verse from Matthew 28:20, I am with you always to the end of time. In my own journey that verse has always been a source of strength and encouragement, that we are never alone. In sharing with others during the chaplaincy it is a verse I like to share and is so often well received. One church where I was invited to preach the children had, some time ago, made that verse into a huge wall collage. It spoke to me that day in a very special way. 

Life for all of us has its ups and downs and its plateaus. Our faith can be challenged by what we experience and by what others experience and share with us. At such a time I have found it so helpful to quietly recite Matthew 28:20 and also Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. By so doing a deep calm can come and provide an inner stillness, reminiscent of the calming of the storm narrative. 
During time in resort I  like to get a feel of where people are in their journeys and to ask God to lead me in my sermon and prayers to proclaim the gospel in a way which can be received and address the issues they have on their hearts and minds. 

I look forward to my time back in resort as a chaplain, being led by God to meet and to share our faith in whatever ways arise.