“The Kanaris Incident” by Doug Fincher

August 1, 2016 - Most of The New Testament was originally written in Greek since  Greek was the World Language at that time.....

In the mid-sixties I was visiting a church member in The Orange, Texas Memorial Hospital when I overheard Dr. Allen talking with another patient in the room.  The patient was moaning "Paneo", "Paneo" and when I recognized he was speaking Greek, I offered to interpret for the doctor. "He is saying 'Pain, pain'…", I said.  "He is saying he hurts".

The patient (Nicolas Achaikos) was a crew member on the Greek grain ship "Kanaris" that was anchored at the Orange City docks.  Since The Greek Orthodox Church is Greece 's dominant church, I asked him, "Soi baptizo en te ekklesia?" (Have you been baptized in the church). "Nomos, Nomos", he quickly replied…. (Meaning he was named at his christening.) I agreed to go to his ship and ask the First Mate to let him fly home early.

As I entered the ship the crew had just finished dinner and after I introduced myself, they set a large platter on the table in front of me and handed me a butcher knife. As I was wondering what to do with it, they placed an apple on the platter.  I cut it in half and as I ate it, the curious crew watched my every move.

When I delivered Nicolas' request to the First Mate he stuttered partly in English and partly Greek, "Estin…estin.."(he is…he is).. and as he pointed to his head, he said, "Crazzie, Crazzie!". He said the boy was playing sick so they'd fly him home early.  He also said  if I was willing to work,  he'd let me  sail to  Athens with them on The Kanaris  and return  to Orange in a couple of months.

The next Sunday, I told the deacons about my Kanaris experience and asked if I could take a couple of months off to visit Athens .   While the other men laughed, Chairman Joe Pineda boomed out, "Preacher, you are 'Crazzie!... Crazzie'!"

I remember the details of The Kanaris incident very well, but have forgotten most of my Greek.  After all, fifty years is a long time to remember something …..

…especially Greek.