A youth trip to Greece? And Greece being on a green list? Nothing like this was on our minds one year ago... It all began one 2019 summer’s afternoon in our youth leader (Monica’s) household. We were planning a humanitarian mission trip to Moldova, when our Pastor told us of the possibility of going on holidays after the mission part of the trip. We couldn’t believe our ears. The hard-working Pastor Christian suggesting a holiday?! We happily accepted this proposal and after some debating, decided on Greece.
In total we were a group of 30 (youth and a few adults), most from Dublin Romanian, some from Dublin West church, one from Belfast and another from Brussels. None of us could’ve predicted the impending pandemic. Every week we planned and prayed for the mission trip to Moldova and the vacation to follow. When it was clear that we could no longer go to the country of our parents and grandparents, we focused on the leisure part of the trip, hoping we’d still be able to travel to Greece. July 10th (our departure date) was fast approaching and we were unsure of what would be, but we decided to put our trust in God and let him guide us.
When the day finally arrived we were all so excited for this much needed break. And so our excursion began. Seven days of sun, sand and sight-seeing were coming our way. As we disembarked the plane, we were immediately overwhelmed by the intensity of the heat.
Our hotel was located right on the beach, in the coastal town of Kriopigi. Every day was filled with activity. On the Sabbath, we adventured through the city of Thessaloniki, with our very own tour guide (the Pastor). Following in the apostle Paul’s footsteps, we walked through historical sights and visited breathtaking viewpoints.
One of the highlights of the trip was a full day pirate boat tour. It took us to a number of secluded beaches and islands for some diving and snorkelling in the turquoise waters. Another activity which we all enjoyed, was the go karting. Not once, but twice were we amazed by the usually ‘quiet people’ showing their ‘fast and furious’ side on the racetrack! We can safely say some hidden talents were discovered!
On the last day we rented speed boats in Vourvourou and visited a blue lagoon. Some people thought it would be funny to drive the boat in such a way as to make waves, which inevitably splashed the boats behind them. At one point our flip flops were floating around in the boat and our clothes and towels were completely soaked! But none of that mattered, because we were all together, racing across the Aegean Sea, having the time of our lives!
I could go and on about the excitements of this trip, but none of it would’ve been possible without our beloved youth leader, the pastor, and the adults that came with us. We appreciate the risks they took and the sacrifices they made, in order for us to have an amazing time. We couldn’t have asked for better, or for more caring supervisors. Overall, this was truly a bonding experience, that I’m sure no one will ever forget.