Greetings from Limassol, Cyprus,
Recently at one of the numerous festivals on the beachfront we saw this notice:” Limassol, One city, the whole world!” By Gods amazing grace Limassol could be that city here in such a strategic place to reach out to the whole of Cyprus and the surrounding nations. Nothing is impossible with God! We meet people from Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Philippines, Nepal … continually on outreach.
Life and Message
We have been wondering what kind of newsletter Noah would have sent out knowing the impending doom. His life and message was a warning to the people of his day and yet he, as his name indicates, was at “rest” in God’s perfect plan.
Are we any different today?
Since arriving back from the most amazing conference in Baltimore where we were encouraged to “Seek the things that are above” we find ourselves spending more and more time in Prayer (with a precious couple God has graciously provided and with the Church) for this Island, Israel and the surrounding countries believing that God hears and answers in His time.
In one day the 2 became 5 going out evangelizing. We began renovating a shop, which was empty for a year, to be used as a ministry centre. It has been enjoyable and surprising to see God at work bringing us local Cypriots who have helped or just popped in to see what was going on. We have made friends with our neighbors on both sides and had opportunities to meet, relate and share the Good News with them. Thank God our home is just around the corner, only a 2 minute walk to the Church which was totally God’s provision.
A Very Colorful Street
The Church is located on a very colorful street: at the top end are the Law Courts, Starbucks, print shops, bookbinders, artists, a folk art museum, kebab houses, coffee shops, a Yoga center, Tavernas, dry cleaners, an Orthodox Bishops residence and bookshop, charity shops, hairdressers, a butcher, jewelry stores … ending in the old city with the town hall, post office, banks, tourist shops, restaurants, mosque and Orthodox Churches all in the tourist area.
There is a sprinkling of African & Filipino churches, a Catholic church from where Mary (poor Mary) was paraded past us, amongst the crowds. Opposite our Church is the Russian School and a business centre and next to us we have a Greek language Institute and Nanny agency. Down ”Jerusalem Street” nearby, is the Masonic Lodge! So these are our neighbors that we are praying for!
Bringing the Church to the World
A few weeks ago a young man noticed the church building and Bible college sign on the window and approached us along the road. He has turned out to be a great blessing and encouragement with a great desire to know God through His Word and evangelize with us. We are praying God uses the new sign we have put up, inviting people for a “free frappe and (live) chat!”
We are seeking to build trust and relationships with people in the area and of course, share Christ who is our life. (Colossians 3:4).
Last week after the service we took the guitar and drum and went to visit friends in a nearby second hand shop where we had an impromptu worship service. The group in the grotto expanded as we sang and worshipped God bringing the Church to the world. We can be a great encouragement to people in this dark and hopeless world, as we take courage from the Lord of Hosts and “Just Do It.”
Outreach will never be the same for us. It has become a nocturnal affair where we go out all hours of the night. Like Pastor Schaller says: “We meet the most interesting people” and here, because it is a small Island, we have continual follow up as we bump into each other again and again!
It is very hot and people are out walking with their families and friends, relaxing on benches, drinking coffee and chatting until all hours of the night which makes evangelism relatively easy. We go out in faith with much prayer. God never fails to connect us with those who are open to chat about Him and His plan of Salvation.
We are learning much about the difference between Religion and Biblical Christianity and it is obvious we have the life of God though His Holy Spirit living in us. (1Cor 3v16-17). People may be God – fearing and know or think they know about God but do not know Him personally, nor forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
Our Big Swimming Pool
Recently we have been rising before the sun and going down to our BIG swimming pool (The Mediterranean) only to discover a whole new group of people to pray for, befriend, and speak to (evangelism in the sea). You may well wonder when we sleep!!! We don’t! (only joking!) We again never fail to meet people who are wide open to God and willing to discuss spiritual matters. Many know about God and traditions but do not know Him personally.
It is amazing how the Holy Spirit leads you in the most unconventional ways when you have a desire to evangelize. We are so privileged to be His Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) and have the answers to life’s questions as we are entrusted with the good news and the mysteries of God (1 Thessalonians 2v4, 1 Cor 4v1). We have the mind of Christ ( 1 Cor 2:16) so let’s share as He gives us opportunity.
In a recent trip to Northern Cyprus we crossed the border in Nicosia and took the minibus to Kyrenia. We had a great time sharing with 2 Turkish Air Force personnel and later with a couple from Ankara in the café where we had lunch. There are many students from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia in Nicosia who are lost and without hope.
We met a young man from Libya who approached us and listened to the message of hope and salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus. Actually, he had lost all hope in God and humanity. Perhaps by the seed planted, he will consider what he heard and believe. Pastor Morley was with us that day and led 2 young men to faith in the Lord Jesus. We could hear the Angels rejoicing in Heaven!!
So if you are a Triathlete and a health fanatic this is the mission field for you. We cycle to various areas· We swim and share in our BIG pool · We walk and walk and walk making friends and fishing for souls (Matt 4:19)· We eat a healthy Mediterranean diet: salads, kebabs, fish, olives, calamari, watermelon , frappe…
Come and visit us.
Thank you for praying for us,
Pastor Larry and Cyprus Church