In 2011 I went to Athens, Greece, with the intention of teaching migrant church leaders the Bible. I had no idea what God was about to do in my heart.
We’re living in an age of migration. Never before have so many people been on the move. In 2015, more than 1 million migrants entered Europe, almost all of them through Greece. I watched the news while it happened, and I heard the commentary: Muslims were invading Europe. The immigrants were dangerous. Countries were being overrun. Sharia law was coming to France.
I was in Athens in 2011 when a migrant killed a Greek woman in labor. Greeks went on strike and protested. Roaming groups of Greek men attacked migrants with no fear that the police would intervene.
But as that happened, I was in a room with 40 Greek, African, and Asian pastors who spent the weekend praying for one another. God was writing another story, one that did not show up on the evening news.
What God Is Doing
What I experienced over the next eight years was remarkable. Refugees were finding Jesus, and Muslims were dreaming about him. Eventually I moved to Athens and wrote a dissertation after doing hundreds of interviews and field research in migrant communities. God was at work in remarkable and undeniable ways. These stories overwhelmed me and led me to recruit Pete Hansen, producer and director of the popular Dispatches from the Front series, to capture them.
Jesus in Athens is a film that attempts to show some of what God is doing amid one of the largest movements of people in history. It’s a front-row seat to the hidden action of God. Afghans worshiping together. Iranians baptizing thousands of new believers. Greeks planting churches. Americans feeding and clothing refugees. These stories are just a small glimpse of the thousands of ways God is at work.
Widen Your Perspective
As I was chasing down the Holy Spirit to see what he was doing, I was reminded that people often have a limited view of God because of their limited experience.
Few Greek evangelicals knew what was happening in their own city. Full-time ministry workers only knew some of what was happening within their own ministry. One week I was told by a ministry that Iranians were easy to reach, but Afghans were hard. The next week I was told by another ministry that Afghans were easy to reach, but Iranians were hard. The limited experience for both groups shaped how they viewed God, thought of his work in the world, strategized, and prayed.
My prayer is that Jesus in Athens would open your eyes to see a small piece of the tapestry God is weaving, and that your heart will be stirred as you see the gospel’s transforming power in the lives of Muslims, refugees, Greeks, and Westerners. I pray that many would go and count cross-cultural missions as gain.
To learn more you can go to www.JesusInAthens.com.
What Others Are Saying
“Moving and convicting.” — John Piper
“It will make your heart burst to watch the hands and feet of Christ serving the outcasts in Athens.” — Dave and Gloria Furman
“I was not prepared for how much it would stir my soul and stretch my faith. Do your soul a favor and watch it today!” — Jason Meyer
“I struggle to find words for the impact this documentary has had on my heart. Your heart will be broken, stirred, and powerfully renewed by this film. Praise God for his amazing grace!” — Sam Storms