Pastors Blog
David Hixon

May 1, 2017

It’s a beautiful Monday and I am in full Mission Trip mode. I have lots of stories but I’ll try to limit myself this morning.
I always look forward to mission trips . . . not just ones to somewhat exotic locations like Athens. I can remember many mission trips as a youth pastor where we went into inner cities like Houston and Atlanta and St. Louis and I was always excited to get there and get going. Those trips were a lot more work because I was in charge of loading up everything we needed for about 8-10 days for 50-60 youth. The planning required was off the charts but hey, I was younger then. Two years ago I was a part of a mission trip to Panama and that was my first mission trip outside of the US. Last year we went to Poland and then did some other stops where we ministered to IMB missionaries and we began looking for where God would lead us in 2017. That is how we ended up planning a trip back to Athens. We were immediately struck by the beauty of the city but what made us want to go back was the missions work that was going on there. We saw the great need as thousands of refugees flood into Greece on their way to other European cities. What a huge opportunity to reach these people for Christ. Most of them have obviously been raised as Muslims but many have never even heard the Gospel message before and yet they are more open to Christ than probably at any point in their lives. The transition and upheaval in their lives leaves them looking for answers and this is where the work there steps in. Physical needs are met but the more important aspect is the spiritual food they receive. We are going to be a part of that. Many of you have given and prayed for us and you will be a part of what God does through us while we are there.

Last year we spent just a few short days in Athens and yet we fell in love with the city. When we planned our trip we talked and prayed about where God wanted us to go and minister. When we added Athens to the list last year it was probably at the bottom of places I wanted to go and see . . . though I’m a huge history buff so I’m not sure why I wasn’t that excited. But when our trip was over I can honestly say that Athens was my favorite stop. I say that to say that it’s OK to enjoy missions work. We shouldn’t apologize for being excited to go. It will be hard work while we are there but I fully anticipate that we will love every moment of it. My prayer is that when we return we will bring that excitement back with us. My prayer is that we might become more excited about local missions. I know we don’t have an Acropolis in Fort Worth but we do have refugees. I am hopeful that we can begin to minister to some of them.

Many people have expressed concern about our safety on this trip and I appreciate their love for us. I know every time our kids leave on a mission trip we do our best not to worry about them. We know they are right where God wants them to be and those of us going to Greece feel exactly the same. To be honest I’m 100% unconcerned about my own safety but I do want to bring the other members home safe – ha. When we were in Athens last year we were told that it is a very safe city and that was our experience. We were told you could go out on the streets in the middle of the night and no one would bother you. We didn’t test that out but we never felt any sense of fear. I did have one funny story when I went out one afternoon on my own looking for a camera store to repair my camera. I couldn’t find it but a Greek man saw me looking and asked if he could help. I told him and he was like oh yes come with me. I followed him for about a block, we turned the corner, he directs me into this establishment, and it turns out it was not a camera store but ummm more of a “girlie bar” (how else do I say that?) and I immediately stopped, turned around and fled as the ”ladies” called after me. Ha. So Athens is still a city with the inherent dangers in any city. And we know we will be in the safest place on earth, right in the middle of God’s will for us.

Please continue to pray for us and pray for the hearts of those that God will place in our path. I don’t know if there will be periodic updates or not but we are hopeful that we will have time to let you know what is going on while we are there. We will definitely be sharing when we get back on Sunday, May 21st. We leave this Friday from the church at 3:30am. We arrive in Athens on Saturday morning at 9:20am so you can see it will be a long and draining first day. Pray that we will have the energy to push through and hit the ground running, not dragging. Pray that God will use us above and beyond our own limitations. Pray that He will give us the words to say that will be understood and will have an impact on the lives we touch. Pray for Will and his family and the regular volunteers they have working there every day.
Lastly, I forgot to wish my granddaughter, Mya Grace Fuller, a very Happy Birthday. She turned SIX this past Friday. She is our oldest and she is growing up way too fast. We had a great time at her party on Saturday!