Resort Outreach in Corfu

Boarding the plane on a new venture to Corfu, a Greek island measuring 24.7 square miles, situated in the Ionian Sea, Judy and I reflected on the verse written by the Apostle John in Revelation 2: 1-5 ‘I am making everything new’.

The first test on the island presented itself in the form of our hire car. All looked great until we discovered that we had trouble locating the lights and couldn’t find the handbrake, or any instructions to help us. We managed to set off and were grateful for the help of a Greek young man who located the lights and between us we discovered that the hand brake was ‘electrical’ and operated by a flat, square-shaped button! A police car also stopped by us twice during this escapade. We consequently managed to arrive at our apartment in Gouvia at about 1.30 am.

I commented to Judy that I could write my whole report on our escapades with the car, but we need to return to our spiritual journey in this small island with a population of 120,000 people. The largest of the Ionian islands and described as one of the most famous islands in Greece because of its major historical interest and unique natural beauty. Latterly, famous people born in or associated  with Corfu include Prince Philip, Lawrence Durrell, and Gerald Durrell.

Evangelistic Opportunities

Evangelism is the proclamation of the Gospel message in various forms, and I am pleased to say that we had the opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ at the 'Light House' in Gouvia. Also on the beaches and the church in Messonghi.  For example, Judy and I went for a meal in a restaurant across the road from our apartment.  About half an hour later three young ladies, in their early 20s, came and sat at a table next to us.  Eventually, I felt moved by the Spirit to open up a conversation with them, intending to evangelise the love of Christ to them.  We soon discovered that all three girls were Christians and daughters of pastors from Germany.  Evangelistic enquiry was transformed into a time of fellowship, Christian love, and sharing of the Christian faith.  We invited them to Holy Trinity Church on Sunday, and were really blessed when they duly arrived at the service.

Experience has taught me the value of visiting people where they are at, to share the Good News of the Gospel with them. It was for this reason that I made several visits to the 'Light House' in Gouvia, to talk to the people who go there for whatever reason.  I am happy to say that some of the people I spoke to during the week came to church on Sunday.  Judy and I also rejoiced to see some of the people we witnessed to in Messonghi come to the service in the church. Personal evangelism on this level does bear fruits, as it involves building up relationships.

Visiting people where they are is very much in line with Luke 10, where Jesus sent out workers two by two to proclaim the Good News. He said in Luke 10:2  ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore to send out workers into his harvest field'.  For example, we went on a cruise to Kassiopi and I took the opportunity to talk to the captain, Spyros, on the boat about the work of ICS and Holy Trinity Church.  I also managed to have conversations with many of the fellow passengers.

I had a pleasant surprise when we visited Messonghi beach.  I was wearing my ID badge when a couple approached me and asked: 'Are you the chaplain’s assistant at Holy Trinity?'.   I explained that I was a seasonal chaplain from ICS, to discover that they were on holiday from Scotland and had been attending HTC when in Corfu. We were joined by another member of the church and we had good fellowship over cold drink and ice cream.

Preach Brother Preach

Preaching and teaching was an integral part of the disciple’s ministry: as we learn from 1 Timothy 5:17 'the elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching'.  This is supported by Jesus’ commission in Mark 16:15 where Jesus said to them, 'go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation'.  Taking Jesus’ command seriously, I was given the opportunity to preach at HTC on Sunday 5 August. I gladly accepted the invitation and preached on the 'Dynamic Power of Prayer' based on Luke 11: 1-10. At the end of my sermon I made an appeal for those with various needs, and several people came forward for prayer.

On Sunday 12 August, I preached at the Greek Evangelical church in Corfu town on 1 Corinthians 13: 'The necessity and the permanency of Love'.  We established good relationships with church members and made ourselves available in church or in their home for help and encouragement.  On the ecumenical level, we felt pleased to have good fellowship with both the Greek Evangelical church in Corfu and the Roman Catholic Church in Messonghi, where the caretaker was extremely helpful and courteous. 

I was invited by pastor Miltiades from the Greek Evangelical church to preach on our last Sunday.  I preached whilst the pastor interpreted.  After the service we spoke to several members of the church, some of whom were English.  One or two took the opportunity to open up about personal issues and we offered encouragement and prayer.  We enjoyed fellowship with them and it is good that their church and HTC have such a close and supportive relationship.

Herrick and Judy Daniels