Working with stones – Wednesday

Winding, stomach-turning highways brought us to Delphi and the temple of Apollo today. A milennia and a half of pagan rituals could do nothing to darken the splendor of the view.

Costas sped us through the rich history of the the temple and its surroundings, demonstrating through museum artifacts the development of anthropomorphism: portraying God (or gods) in artwork as human.

Only a few ruined columns remain of the temple in Delphi.

The ruined temple of Apollo, tucked in the soaring landscape of Delphi, was the former site of the oracle at Delphi.

The clay, bronze and gold bodies on display look nothing like the children who dance, play and sing behind our eyelids on the bus ride to Valos. The statues are larger-than-life, strong, idealized, heroic. Refugee children are not strong, though they wish to be. The older boys will not stop arm wrestling one another and their little brothers climb, jump, and tumble all around us to prove they can never exhaust their energy. They do not act like we have come to expect refugees to act: the women are open, the men say little, and the teenagers are always on their phones.

But they are like the statues because both have been displaced.

Though safe behind alarm-protected glass, these stone faces are far from their home. As well preserved as the bronze statues are, ages of weathering and decay have worn them down almost beyond recognition. With museum lighting, ancient tablet fragments are legible, but the rest of the display is a reconstruction; much has been lost since its inscription.

Tonight we performed for a strange—at times unruly—and historic crowd. In the Music Theater of Volos, members of the Greek Orthodox church, along with their bishop, the community, and a bus full of refugees from the nearby Kurdish camp sat together to see Playback and Sounds perform. It was the first time the Orthodox and Evangelical congregations collaborated an event together.

The Sounds lines up in concert attire on stage.

The Sounds performed at the Volos Music Theater to a historic audience.

God is using our team, with all our talents—from Elizabeth Hammond’s sketches to Sean Sele’s guitar and percussion improvisations—to build bridges. In each new place we lay a single stone, whether the cornerstone or keystone or another piece in between. We have reminded ourselves that our work does not belong to us but the Lord. He will use it according to his purposes. As the pastor at the Evangelical church in Volos said, we do not care what work we do as long as our work builds the Kingdom. We are humbled by this task.

A Sounds member poses with a refugee child and their drawings.

Evan Shaw and a refugee named Riana took time after our concert to have a drawing contest.

Thank you for your prayers—we have seen your requests answered in unbelievable ways. Please pray for strength and health as members of our team face exhaustion and minor illness. Continue to pray for Greece and both its citizens and refugees.

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