Eleven Maranatha High School students, along with their Head of School Dr. Steven Sherman and Principal John Rouse, traveled to Greece for the first time from April 12-22, as part of Maranatha’s Global Steward Service Trips program. The team spent eight days in Greece journeying in the steps of Apostle Paul and seeing the most amazing historical sites that Greece has to offer. In addition, the team worked at refugee camps.
On the first day, the group traveled by bus to Thessaloniki to a refugee care center where they served in many capacities. The team primarily worked with men who came from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan to receive food, get cleaned up, get their clothes washed, and take shelter inside a warm place. The Maranatha volunteers worked alongside volunteers from Northern Ireland to sing, talk to the refugees, make sandwiches, and distribute food.
Maranatha junior Eric Chang said, “At the camps, we were able to see how people with very little resources at their disposal were still able to find happiness. This taught me to find joy in the little things in life. At one of the camps that we visited, the refugees were Kurdish. Many have become refugees because the countries in which they lived had persecuted them.”
On the second day, the Maranatha group traveled to the refugee camp in Lavrio. Maranatha senior Emily Chaparian shared, “When it was time to leave the camp, two little girls wouldn’t let go of me because they wanted us to stay. As I was walking away I turned back and blew them a kiss, which they blew back, and then just waited out there until I was gone. I became really emotional and started crying because I could sense that these girls were longing for something more than what they had, even if it was just being able to play with someone like me for a day. It was an incredible experience I will never forget.”
The trip to Greece was a beautiful mix of service and cultural exploration for the Maranatha group as they visited monasteries that depicted frescos of major stories of the Bible, the archeological site at the Temple of Poseidon, the Ancient City of Corinth, the Aegean Sea, and so much more.