There’s an air of optimism on Skopelos. The island is now in full swing as tourists have flooded in. Our season though started with a couple of surprises. The first, days before the start of Impact training, required an unscheduled haul out of the boat for repairs to the propelor shaft, costing us 4 days and 3000€ of our limited time and money.
Then the second came at the end of Impact training. This was the failure of our super expensive marine fridge/freezer. The replacement was a fraction of the repair cost, so we now have a new normal household appliance which surprisingly is working far better and more economically than the old marine unit. We’re now looking into ways of adding photovoltaic panels to help keep up with our energy needs, hopefully by the end of the season they’ll be installed.
Meanwhile our Spring Impact Training course is done! We had a very keen to learn and grow group of students that blessed us greatly. It was a pleasure to watch relationships grow and lives changing before our eyes. There was evidence of a deepening of their understanding and relationship with God.
Following this we ran our first youth camp at our island property. The amenities were simple “camping style” with tents, and shades under the olive trees to meet and eat together. Some outside showers (cold water only) and washing basins and a couple more toilets were all set up by Steffen and Tanja, now residing on Skopelos who have also been helping out with the boat.
Each day there was some activity / tour organised for them somewhere on the island. The program then finished with a couple of days on our sailing ship the “Encounter”. They had an amazing time, something they would never have been able to afford and want to come again next year!
The church youth group (25 in all) that came were from Thessaloniki. Among them were a number of unchurched youth from a very poor nearby neighbourhood. One of them, a young lady, came to faith in Christ during her time here.
Interestingly enough, through a gift from Australia the cost of the whole camp set up and running costs was totally covered before the camp was over encouraging us to continue to reach out to such underprivileged
Just as the campers left we met with a Greek couple interested in partnering long term with us on Skopelos. After a couple of days of talks and showing them around we were mutually encouraged and enthusiastic as to what will happen in the future. One of our biggest hurdles will be how to support them financially. It seems we will need sponsors for them. They are a family with 4 young children. The possibility of them working alongside us opens up enormous opportunities, particularly in reaching out to our local community.
We look ahead with great expectations!