Daniel & Sarah Deurbrouck
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We are excited to join the ranks of the missionaries here at Alderwood. Both of us have been on the trajectory towards overseas missions since high school, and then met at Moody Bible Institute. Daniel had spent his first year after high school at a Bible college just outside of Athens, Greece, and saw the great spiritual need in the country. The seed planted in his heart six years ago led to us both taking a three-month vision trip to Athens last fall. By the end of that trip, we felt confident that God was calling us to Greece.
Alderwood has been Sarah’s family ever since she was born...her parents, Dean & Reine Huber were even married in the sanctuary! ACC provided the spiritual foundation for Sarah’s life, and is the reason she initially became interested in overseas missions. So, we are very grateful that you, the Alderwood family, are continuing to support and encourage us, by being our sending church and choosing to support us as Alderwood missionaries.
Although Greece is a very “religious” country, services and Bibles to this day are only available in Biblical Greek...a language which is incomprehensible to modern-day Greeks. Religion in Greece today is an issue of nationality and tradition, not of changed hearts and lives trusting in Jesus. For this reason, we believe that church-planting is a crucial need in Greece. We will be joining an existing church-planting effort in Athens, led by The Greek Evangelical Church. After moving to Athens and completing language school, we will be paired up with a Greek church-planter and move into an unreached neighborhood in Athens. Through building relationships and sharing the gospel in our community, our goal will be to develop a neighborhood Bible study. When there are a sufficient number of people in the Bible study, we will transition to holding a Sunday morning church service. Once the new church plant is established and healthy, a Greek will pastor the church, and we will move on to help with another church plant in the city.
We have made it to Athens! We have been in the city for just over a week now, and are in the process of getting settled. It has been a blessing to see many of the friends we have made in Greece in the past. Right now, we are busy searching for an apartment. It can be a long and difficult process to find a good long-term apartment in Athens—please pray that we will find one soon!
The neighborhood we will be living in is Neos Kosmos, or “New World” in English. Although we will be studying Greek full-time at a nearby language school for at least a year, we are living in this neighborhood because the church-planting effort we are joining in is seeking to plant a church in Neos Kosmos within the year. While we need to protect our time in language study, many of the ministry opportunities through the church-planting efforts are ideal language immersion experiences. Please pray that we will find a healthy balance of joining in the Greek church-planting efforts, without losing sight of our primary goal, which is fluency in Greek.
The church-planting team in Neos Kosmos is led by Tolis and Courtney, a Greek man and his American wife (they have been tremendously helpful in getting us settled!). First Evangelical Church, the Greek church which is spearheading the effort, has had a small community center in the neighborhood for ten years, named Center 68. Center 68 provides a safe place for kids in the area to play, and hosts two soccer teams. Through this center, believers in the church have formed many relationships in the community. Based on this foundation, eight members of First Evangelical Church have committed themselves to helping plant a new church in Neos Kosmos. They hope to begin services in September.
Our transition in moving here has not been easy. There have been major blessings in seeing friends, ministries, and beautiful places in Athens, but also difficult logistics paired with the emotional strain of moving overseas and the unrelenting burden of language barriers. Please pray for strength for us through these circumstances, and for God’s favor on the church-planting team, that a church would be established in Neos Kosmos!
We miss you all, and are grateful for your prayers!