“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb 12:28-29 ESV)
I don’t really know what to write, and it’s been like this for nearly two weeks. There is so much to tell; there is so much I’ve learned.
For a while, I’ve been starting off each post with a verse from the Bible. It’s always one that God has shown me that week that He’s used to really teach me something. For the past two weeks, I’ve learned more than I thought I could possibly learn, and that makes me want to just post the the entire Bible on here. That would take up a lot of room, so I won’t.
I want to start off with some prayer requests. I ask you, dear reader, to consider these with your whole heart. I know that you aren’t here, but I hope that the urgency of these requests can be translated to you.
As you know, part of this mission God has sent me on is to be the light in a very dark place. I feel that the light that is Jesus Christ shines the brightest when it is the darkest. That darkest is Friday nights on the streets of Neustadt walking among the hopeless and lost who are high and drunk and searching for something. They’re the ones who openly deny God, and the ones I fear and agonize over who may never be saved. It’s so hard to say that, and I don’t even want to think it.
There is one young man (Pyro) who feels that he can solve his own problems. He feels that he doesn’t need God and that God is just here to pity him. He gets angry when we bring up God, and he changes the subject. We don’t know what to say to him. He looks forward to getting drunk, and he does not understand why we don’t drink or why he believe in God. We thought we were making some headway when we asked if we could pray for him, and he said yes (but didn’t know if it would help). That came back fruitless from his point of view. We refuse to give up on him even if that means praying from afar. Pray that God softens his heart and makes Himself completely irresistible to him.
There is one young girl (Lila) whom I have mentioned in a couple of other posts. The Gospel has been presented to her, and now it’s up to her to make the choice. We want to meet with her to talk to her and answer any questions she may have, but we haven’t been able to. She has so much going on in her life, and her past is full of pain. There are a lot of things obstructing her view, and we’re praying for a clear path.
We’ve encountered a very young man (Pat-Pat) who recently turned 17. He’s usually wasted by the time we meet him on the street– around 9 PM. He is a transvestite. I haven’t really had the chance to talk to him except for the first night I met him. My heart aches for him because I want so much to see him full of life and living the life that God wants for him. I want this for all of the people we meet on the street, but my hearts even more for him because he so very young.
There is hope, though. I met two people this week how gave their lives to Christ. One is a former Neo-Nazi (Marco), and the other is a young man (Benjamin) who is (was) just like Pyro or Lila. I had the honor of witnessing Benjamin give his life to Christ. It’s an amazing story.
It was a Friday night. There were some folks in doing some training relating to our mission, and some of them wanted to come out on the street with us. We did our usual prayer time before we went out, but for some reason, we didn’t go straight to the street. Some of us went into a Kebap shop to get some hot tea. We sat in there for a little while, and decided to make our way to the street to see if we could find any of the people we’ve met before. When we got out there, we didn’t see anyone we had met in the previous weeks. We spotted our supervisor, and headed over to him. He was talking to a girl with pink hair. As I looked around for a familiar face, I realized that I was nervous. I can’t really say why, though. I think I felt overwhelmed at all the people. There were more out than before.
The next thing I knew, Charlotte pulled Day, Jessica, and I (at that moment, I didn’t realize Sarah had gone off with the Journeygirl to search for Lila) over to this guy (Benjamin) who was clinging for dear life to her. Two of the guys from training were there with us. Charlotte said, “Pray for him. He wants to be delivered from drugs and alcohol.” The five of us gathered around Charlotte and Benjamin.
I didn’t know this at the time, but we were being mocked. Benjamin was being scorned by the very people he used to call his friends. I could hear nothing except our prayers. We didn’t know if he spoke English (which he does), but we prayed in English for him. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was standing and shaking, and he dropped to his knees, raised his hands toward Heaven and begged Jesus to save him. I could not believe the miracle I was witnessing. We took him to the safehouse so we could pray and talk. At the end of it all, he thanked us for praying for him. I wanted to thank him! I do thank HIM.
Because I am here and in it all, I cannot see it from the outside. The folks who were here for training told us that we are truly witnessing something others may never see in their stay in Western Europe. Where we thought we were tilling the soil, we’ve discovered we’re in a harvest. It doesn’t look anything like what people may think a harvest should look like, but if I am over here for just one soul, that is enough. I’m doing, seeing, and saying things I never thought I would. It’s Christ in me.
In other news, we had the chance to meet with another girl (Joanna) who wants to practice her English. The way she talked about her desire to learn it and to speak it as we do made my heart leap. I feel that often times we take for granted being fluent or having English as our heart language. So many people are paying so much money to learn it. Joanna told us that the way we speak is beautiful. She’s the second person we’ve met that has told us that something about the way we speak or the way we do things is beautiful. Caroline, the girl we met before, told us that the way we refer to ourselves (as Americans) as ‘we’ is refreshing. She said it shows unity, and that is a thing of beauty. It’s no accident that I am over here. It’s no accident that the three other girls I am working with are over here.
God placed us here for a reason. He’s teaching us many things and nothing has come to late or too early. We don’t understand His timing, but we’ve realized that His timing is so much better than ours. We’re a team with God leading the way.