Athens Marathon is more than a race

By July 21, 2014
Fist Olympic Stadium (Photo cred: jjjj56cp Flick https://flic.kr/p/7TaTur )

Fist Olympic Stadium (Photo credit jjjj56cp Flick https://flic.kr/p/7TaTur )

Greece (MNN) — Once again, we’re asking you to lace up–whether for an actual run or a less literal way of being the beautiful feet spreading God’s Word (Is 52:7).

EFCA ReachGlobal impacts the world for Jesus in ministry and crisis response. One place they’re making great strides in is Greece where an estimated .25% of the population are believers.

ReachGlobal Europe and their Athens City Team is promoting the chance to catch a vision of what God is doing in Greece through their participation (and yours) in the most classic marathon around.

No, it’s not the Boston marathon–not even close.

Run the original Athens Marathon, coming up in November. The marathon will begin in Marathon and end in the Olympic stadium of Athens.

The idea to participate in it as a team began with ReachGlobal’s work in Kypseli which is the most ethnically diverse city in Greece. Many refugees and immigrants have taken up residence in this city.

How it started.

Starting with a children’s ministry, ReachGlobal has brought together the community to begin Bible studies and church plants.

For a people who have little to do with God, the city of Kypseli is extremely open to the Gospel.

Tom Becker of ReachGlobal says, “They are responding well. I think the outreaches in Athens are very personal, and so they’re coming in and getting to know the families. As families get to know that Christians are relational people and are really interested in them, they’re very interested in responding to that.”

The marathon will help raise awareness and funds for this ministry work. Participants will have the opportunity to visit historic sites, the Kypseli city, and the Greek Bible College.

“We’re hoping that people will catch a vision for future ministry with the Athens City team, too. There’s a lot of needs on the ground for short-term teams to come and help with the street festivals, leadership development, people that would be involved informally at the Greek Bible college. Music worship ministry is another need that they’re talking about.”

Run, give, or go!

There isn’t much time left to train for a marathon if you haven’t started doing so. However there are new opportunities.

“If a marathon is a long distance that you don’t think you can run, there’s also the opportunity to run the 10k race, or even the 5k race,” Becker explains.

If you’re set on doing the marathon, we have good news! ReachGlobal plans to repeat the experience once they have a better understanding of how things will work.

And for those who are just not runners, rest assured there are still opportunities to help out.

“Non-runners can still come and still have a huge impact in terms of just seeing what God is doing in Athens. They can also be involved in the trip: just going to the historical sites in Athens, seeing the Greek Bible college, going to the Kypseli neighborhood and seeing people there,” Becker explains.

You can also give to the work that they are doing in Greece. Find out more here.

And finally, you can pray.

Becker says, “The Athens City Team really needs prayers to know how to invest its energies between the Bible College, the church plants in the Kypseli neighborhood, the work with the immigrants, refugees. They just need wisdom and discernment to know how to work best, how to use their time. And they also need other workers to come alongside them and help.”

2 Comments

  • Peter says:

    “Greece where the population is only .25% Christian.” what are you talking about? Greece is 98% Greek Orthodox which is one of the oldest denominations of Christianity. If you are referring to some born again movement you should be more specific in your article to avoid confusion. However, Christianity in its most wide sweeping definition includes all denominations from Protestant, to Catholic, to Greek Orthodox, to all the other 100’s of different sects that exist today.

    • Julie Oosterhouse says:

      Peter,
      Thank you for pointing that out. Yes you are correct, and it was a mis-wording I thought I had fixed. I apologize for the confusion. Again, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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