I Went to a Greek Women’s Conference about Joy

Two of my co-workers are on a committee that creates a yearly inter-denominational conference for Greek Christian women.  When they invited me to join them by saying, “It’s at a resort by the beach, and the cost of €100 includes two nights in a 4-star hotel plus six buffet gourmet meals,” it was very easy to say yes.

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Dina drove me to Euboea, a massive island near Athens, and we got to the resort hours before the 200+ women who were attending the three-day conference.  Due to poor planning on the part of the resort, about half of us had to spend the first night at a nearby sister-hotel.  Dina dropped me off there while she worked, and I had virtually AN ENTIRE HOTEL to myself for five hours.  It was AMAZING.

Later that first night, the buses full of women arrived.   Continue reading

Friends, Food, and Spiritual Insight: A Christian Conference in Greece

A few weeks ago, Anthi invited me to join her and some friends in going to Leutraki (near Corinth) for a weekend conference with the Free Evangelicals of Athens.  Apparently I have not been attending a Free Evangelical church, but when asked my opinion on free will vs. predestination (“I think they’re both right, but we don’t know how”) I was given clearance to come.

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I didn’t expect to learn anything, since the whole conference would be in Greek, but I was super into the location.  We stayed at a resort by the sea and paid only €105 for two nights and six buffet meals.  That would have been enough to satisfy me, but Anthi made sure to find translators for me during each presentation.

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Can we pause a second and talk about how humbling it is to not know a language?  There’s the everyday “everyone is talking about something, and I have no idea what it is!” and the similar “oh no, they are asking me to perform and all I can think of is ‘Μιλἀω ελληνικἀ λἰγα αλλἀ νομἰζω οτἰ ξεχνἀω πολὐ’ and I said that last time.”  But there’s also the next level up: being translated to while 130 people sit around you.  This is maybe an introvert-specific humiliation, since my highest aim in life is to blend in.  There’s something so humbling about letting everyone know that you’re alone in your confusion and that you need help.  This is a good thing, I think, learning to accept help….I just don’t like the process of learning it.   Continue reading