Greece (MNN) — Greece will go to the polls for the second time on
To many Greeks, it's seen as a referendum on the euro itself. AMG International President Paul Jenks says,
"One of the groups that was elected basically has said that they will
not agree to continue on this path of receiving money from the European Union,
according to the agreements that have been put into place. This throws the
whole negotiation into turmoil."
After the May 6 election, there was hope that although there was
no clear majority, political leaders could come to an agreement on a coalition
government. They failed, extending a
political crisis that threatens to finally push the country out of the Eurozone.
Party leaders have been squabbling over continuation of austerity
measures prescribed by the European Union (EU) or pulling out of the bailout
agreement and suffering the insolvency instead.
In the meantime, the chaos has caused a run on Greek
banks. "If the government of Greece
won't honor the commitments that it made in the past, Germany and some of the
other large European countries have said they just can't go forward."
AMG coworkers in Greece are under a lot of pressure, as the
situation has put a severe strain on St. Luke's hospital, the Logos bookstore, the Cosmo Vision Center, and other ministries
there. Jenks says, "For the
common person in Greece, prices have gone up. For many, they've used their
savings, and many are out of work. People are losing their homes. Among young
adults, unemployment is as high as 50%."
AMG teams are responding through the local churches. "All
of our national leaders there are often leaders in their local church groups as
well." However, Jenks says, "The
demand for outreach and the need of the people of Greece and of the many
refugees that are in Athens, especially,
put a strain on already limited resources."
The country has been in five years of recession, and desperation is
growing even as the austerity measures bite. AMG has come alongside believers there through thick and thin. The
ministry celebrates its 70th anniversary
in Greece this year. At the same time, Jenks notes opportunity.
Pray for our
coworkers as they all feel the tremendous pressure of our economy. "When
disaster happens, people are so willing to have someone take time with them and
to listen to their story and their need. Of course, we as believers have a
special hope in Jesus Christ, so that's a natural way to respond to these who
are expressing hopelessness is that we do have hope in Jesus Christ."
faith shared are having positive results, says Jenks. "Especially
among those that have lost their jobs and refuges, and those that can't find
work and don't have what they need. There's more openness than in the past; of
course, Greece hasn't been very open to the Gospel until now, so we feel that
God is really shaking things up there for eternal purposes."
The AMG team is reworking
the ministry schedule in order to
respond to the current need. Pray for St. Luke's hospital as the challenges are becoming greater
since the Greek government is not able to respond in its financial obligations.
There are ways you can prayerfully and financially support
AMG's work in Greece. Check our Featured Links Section.