Untraveled Road

20160422_113512Hold on for a second
If words can be weapons,
Then what I say can affect it.
They’re not just words on a record.

And I can choose to respect it,
Or choose to infect it.
But once that hits the water,
It’s too late to be selective

If one voice is enough,
To make sleeping giants wake up.
To make armies put their hands up.
And watch whole nations stand up.
It’s one belief, one spark,
One faith and one restart.
And we can reboot the whole chart,
Before it all falls apart

So stand up, shout it out.
We can put ’em in the air if you like it loud.
We only got one shot, so let’s make it count.
It’s a takedown, nobody can stop us now.
Stand up, shout it out.
Sing it loud, so the world can’t drown us out.
And before we depart let’s leave a mark.
‘Cause light shines brighter in the dark.

When we scream,
Our lips don’t make a sound.
We march with feet on solid ground.
We walk, where no one wants to go,
On this untraveled road.

Music & Lyrics by Thousand Foot Krutch

It’s Friday again, and it’s kind of hard to believe that the team has been here for nearly a week already. The trip started off somewhat slowly for me. It took literally two days of travelling in cars, vans & planes to get here. We had our introductory tours and orientations and everything didn’t really seem like we were here to do a job, to help. Even after doing our first 24-hour shift on Sunday night to Monday night at Sikaminias near the fishing village of Skala, nothing seemed real. We didn’t have much to do, as there were no

IMG_3097

This creative boat art, found in Molyvos, is made by a local artist from the materials taken off the boats and life jackets of the refugees.

guests to tend to,. I didn’t pause to reflect on what had occurred there over the last few months. I simply did as I had intended when I signed up to join the team, which was to come here and do what was asked of me. The only reflection I had was when I was cutting up the rafts that carried people over here that creative people are now using to make saleable items to give back to the wonderful people of Greece. At that time, I thought “I hope that everyone who set sail on this raft made it safely to the shores where their hopes of freedom lay.”

Then Tuesday came along and we were off to the main camp. I had been nervous the whole time for this part of our journey. I inwardly questioned and asked Jesus “Why me? Are you sure this is where You wanted me? What do I have to offer? I don’t quote scripture well. What can this average, broken person possibly have to offer these people?” I decided that I would do what I set out to do: devote myself in service and simply do whatever is asked of me, work hard and smile. I will love on everyone as Kim encouraged us to do in orientation as we read from Matthew 25:31-46. Day one went well. It came as no surprise that He placed me on the appropriate team that would accentuate my God-given talents; the information tent. This is where we give out diapers to the mothers for their children. Besides handling every challenge that comes along, the main focus is to find housing for all of the guests. It is very challenging and rewarding. We don’t have enough room to house everyone. The tents we have to give them have missing pieces. The housing units that are more permanent are overcrowded. It still felt good to talk with our guests, helped them set up or fix their tents and do whatever I could to help them. The day goes by quickly and I was exhausted at the end of the day.

Wednesday was extremely difficult. We had guests that needed a place to sleep but really IMG_4475 (2)nothing to give them. David and another young man from a different organization working with me at the info tent went to some of the units to ask if they could make room for fellow countrymen. You need to know that we are not only challenged for space, we are attempting to blend several different nationalities and cultures together in the same small area. The answer always seems to be “no, I’m sorry but there is no room.” Sometimes what is offered is not acceptable to the guests that need housing. Whether I am able to help or not, most conversations end with “thank you, my friend.” At the end of the day I was angry but I didn’t know what I was angry at. I wasn’t angry with myself because I know it I did my best. I wasn’t angry with the guests because I understand their point of view. I wasn’t angry at the system because I know that everyone is working extremely hard and doing their best. After the shift, I talked it out with David and came to see it all from a better perspective. I realized that I was trying real hard to be heard but had not taken the time to truly understand. It would be better if I were to seek first to understand than to be heard.

On day three in early morning prayer, I was reminded of Isaiah 53:3, Leviticus 19:33-34 and Psalm 91. I asked Him show me how to “seek first to understand”. We were under the new food coupon system and started an hour earlier in order to implement it. With this came new responsibilities for everyone. Of course He had me placed in the appropriate spot where the skills He gave me would serve Him the best. Amongst the chaos of implementing a new system, everything went extremely fast and organized. All of the people were a little confused — the workers, the guests — but it still went quite smooth. As of the second meal of the day, everyone seemed to have a handle on it. My task for the day was primarily crowd control. There were very few hiccups. What came along was handled quickly and orderly. The entire day, I had the song above in my head; mostly the lines:

And before we depart let’s leave a mark.
‘Cause light shines brighter in the dark.

When we scream,
Our lips don’t make a sound.
We march with feet on solid ground.
We walk, where no one wants to go,
On this untraveled road.

IMG_3070It’s Friday now and as we all enjoy some rest time with the sights and sounds of Molyvos, I feel a mixture of emotions. I’m extremely comforted that He led me to the place where I could “shine my light.” At the same time, I can’t help but feel that it’s not enough and unclear on how we can all make it better. There is so much pain here yet at there is also an abundance of resilience, determination and hope. I am amazed at how these people work together to help each other in spite of their differences in culture and language. There are scuffles and disagreements, but they all get along incredibly well under very trying circumstances and not knowing what their future holds. There is so much more to do and there are so many needs. The children’s laughter and playfulness is welcome relief to the pressure on this place. They are such a blessing. On their journey, once our guests “… hit the water, it was too late to be selective.” All of us are walking “where no one wants to go.” One thing is clear; He is leading us all “on this untraveled road.”

Mario Piché

IMG_3046

Our team on our day off, enjoying beautiful Molyvos. What a gorgeous place!

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment on “Untraveled Road

  1. Pingback: Untraveled Road by Mario – Alberta, Canada – EuroTeam

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