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Greece: The Language of Kindness. By, Joy Haythorpe


Athens, Greece
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Greece has been great so far. It started out a little crazy as the airline lost our bags. We survived three days wearing each others clothes and our Mom’s clothes too. It was okay but frustrating. Anyway, we were united with the team and we were ready to get involved.

    The first thing we did was have a meeting with Elise from YWAM Refugee Circle. We talked about how we should act in public and which person we should be with when walking down the street and everything. We got that settled and then we started searching for  some programs that we can help for the Refugees. We found an abandoned hotel that was turned into a living space for the Refugees. It was so cool seeing what the were doing. They had Greek classes, English classes, Kids program, Math classes, and so much more. We decided we'd be most useful as a team to work in the Kids program, since everyone had experience with kids through Youth Street throughout the DTS.

Our first day working with the kids was crazy but good. We had a great time with the kids and they were so amazing. They were very loving and respectful to us. Most of kids were angels, but the rest were crazy and hyper... like kids!

Some of the kids that have captured my heart so far are three girls and two boys. The kids are from all over. Some from Syria, some from Afghanistan, some from Iran - you get the idea. The first girl is named Sava. The was very suspicious and very cheeky. She LOVES to talk! I liked her very much but there were other things she tested me in. In all, she was a nice kid to hang out with.

The second girl was Lílas. She is such a sweet heart, and so brave. I loved her so much. When I walked in the room she asked to help move the tables and wiped them down as we set up for the kids program. She said I was very beautiful, and she gave me kisses on the cheek. She is adorable. Her friend (who didn't tell me her name) came up to me and gave me a big hug and made a kiss face. I gave her a kiss on the forehead.  They both melted my heart.

With the boys, Amir asked me to make a LEGO plane with him. Literally, All the kids love making legos, no joke!  He is such a sweet heart.


They love building so much and know that the LEGO only come out a few times a week, so the boys were trying to steal the pieces so they can take it to their room and play with them whenever they want. It make me think about how lucky we are to have the things we do.

Another boy is named Muhammed. He is a little feisty, but is still cool. One time, we brought our American football and they learned how to play catch. Then, he took it and started chasing running away from us. He was having so much fun. It is surprising to see how something simple like a ball bring so much joy to these kids.

We took the football out to a "park" the other day. There are no green parks anywhere in Athens! I was just were just playing catch with Levi, Xavier and Dad when a little girl came up to us. She was just little but wanted to have fun instead of sit down quietly. Their family was from Afghanistan. The girls loved when I tossed the ball to them as they learned how to catch. They could not stop hugging me. I fell in love with them.

This trip has been life changing for me so far. I can't believe how much people just want to be loved and respected no matter where they come from. We are both strangers in this land but our common language is kindness.

Love, Joy
   

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