The Roma community, not too far from downtown Athens, Greece, can seem like a different country all together. Situated close to the front steps of another of HM’s ministries, The Hope Center, lies another world in need of love; A people who are misunderstood, judged and forgotten. The world puts its’ limitations and expectations on them which often leads to hopelessness. Problems from the past, that plague their futures, include the lack of education and social inclusion, which leads to a lack of jobs and income. This means many are without running water, power or permanent home structures. Mixing with narcotics, child labor, and participation in child marriage also does not help their inclusion into society. But on these not so distant streets, walk our friends who have a voice, but do not know who to call out for. They may yell at the government, at Greeks who mistreat them or at each other, but they need to call out to the One who hears them. But who will tell them about Him?
Responding is part of obedience. Obediently and joyfully we have taken on the challenge to work within our local community, beyond many odds, believing that in name of Jesus change is possible. And change is what many of our dear friends there desire for themselves! Transformational change takes a long time. However, through an emphasis on education and relational opportunities that a community center brings, Hellenic Ministries has opened the doors to Petalouda (Butterfly) Educational Center. The same way a caterpillar wants to fly, but needs time and nurturing, we hope to nurture this community with giving them the transformational power of Christ through helping them with things they maybe never thought possible. Like reading, writing, applying for a job, learning new skills, etc.
Our goal is to help each of the children to gain self-confidence and the desire to attend the local Greek government schools and complete their education.
We also extend our help to the adults in this community too, as there is much desire to learn!
This is a war zone. An area that is covered in strongholds through drugs, prostitution, violence and abuse. Therefore, PRAYER is truly the BIGGEST need. Please pray daily for safety, for all of our team and for all the children. Pray for breakthroughs on many different levels and for the education classes to help set the children on many exciting paths.
In addition, we need more help from volunteers who love people, especially children of all ages, who believe in the importance of education. Speaking Greek is of huge value, but many of our volunteers do not speak Greek, and yet they are a big help to us. So please get in contact if you want to join us!
This ministry was started in faith, therefore further incoming support for the ministry is still a need as we grow and hope to improve our facilities and resources. Please consider supporting the ministry with a gift or monthly donations. When making a donation please clearly state if you want it to go towards Petalouda expenses.