In Koukaki, Greece
June 10, 2018
In Greece, people take a lot of pride in their families, church, and their name. A firstborn son usually receives his paternal grandfather's name, and many are given names of Saints from the church. Names hold value, they give a person their identity and dignity.
Every week hundreds of people come to our church meal distribution. We try to learn and greet them by their name for this reason. The people who we serve live in poverty and are underserved, underrepresented, and disenfranchised, but they do have names.
Dora was a woman from the neighborhood who came to the food distribution each week. As she came through the gate we would greet her with a smile and say, “Good morning Dora! We’re so glad to see you.”
A smile would always come across her face and she would say, “I love it when you call me by my name, no one calls me by my name.”
People who live on the fringe of society are often nameless and invisible. They walk among us as ghosts with their heads bowed and loneliness as their daily companion.
We want our brothers and sisters to realize there are people who see them and value them for who they are. Most importantly we want them to know:
To be known by God is to be favored by the Glorious Lord of the universe. This is the good news that will lift their spirit and head. It will bring hope to an otherwise futile life and lonely existence.