Lift up Your Eyes

Richard Harris, Charis Bible College

My wife and I recently travelled to Serbia and Hungary as part of a team of twenty students from Charis Bible College in Colorado.  We experienced first-hand the truth of Jesus’ words in John 4:35: “Say not ye, ‘There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?’ Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35).

We shared the Gospel in schools, subways, Roma villages and churches.  One evening, a small group from our team visited a Roma (Gypsy) village in Serbia.  A man was healed of heart problems and another of arm pain.  When the whole team returned to the village a few days later, we delivered food to over twenty families.  As we ministered in their homes, dozens of people accepted Christ.  The man who had received healing of his arm during the ministry of our smaller group had gone home and testified to his family.  When we returned to the village, we were able to lead his whole family to Christ!

Another precious Roma woman had been suffering for years with severe depression, taking strong medication.  Her countenance was visibly heavy.  We told her that God loved her and that Jesus would set her free.  She accepted our invitation to trust in Jesus as her Savior.  After praying the “sinner’s prayer”, we saw her face light up as her depression instantly lifted and joy filled her heart!

We ministered in several public schools in both Serbia and Hungary.   We had a wonderful time performing dramas, singing, dancing and playing games with the beautiful kids of these countries.  I will never forget watching my wife share the Gospel with over forty Serbian children at our first outreach.  She used a “salvation bracelet” to explain the good news, and every single child raised his hand and prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior!

In the subway in Budapest, Hungary, our team conducted outreaches in a central station where hundreds of people were constantly coming and going.  We performed a popular hip-hop line dance to attract a crowd, followed by one of two dramas, “Set Me Free” or “The Mask”.  These skits, done with background music, but no words by the actors, powerfully portrayed the love of Jesus.  After each set, we dispersed into the crowd to talk to those who had gathered.  The people of Budapest were incredibly open to hear about God and many prayed to receive Jesus!

I remember one woman with her ten-year-old son who had watched the drama “Set Me Free”.  She initially told us that she did not believe in God, saying, “I believe in myself.”  I shared with her a simple testimony of how Jesus saved me and gave me peace.  She surprised me by saying that she would like to have the peace and joy that she saw in us!  We told her we could pray with her at that moment to receive Christ.  She said she did not have time, because she had a pressing doctor’s appointment.   She told us that she was having “nerve” problems that were causing her to pass out suddenly.  We laid hands on her and prayed for healing.  It was clear that the power of God touched her.  She said she felt “lighter” after we prayed.  After receiving her healing, she eagerly allowed us to lead her in the prayer of salvation and accepted Christ as her Savior!

We had another divine appointment in the subway with a quiet, sincere young man named Stephen.  He was a student at a university in Budapest.  He was passing through the subway station and stopped to watch our drama.  We shared with him how he could have a personal relationship with God through Christ.  After a momentary hesitation, he agreed to accept the Lord and we led him in prayer.  Once again, we could see the impact of the love of Jesus on his face after his expression of faith.

These stories are special, but they are not unique.  We experienced miracles and divine encounters every day.  As a team, we saw 153 people accept Christ as Lord and Savior for the first time!!!  We also ministered the baptism in the Holy Spirit to dozens of believers and witnessed several people receive physical healing.

EI’s executive director, Jeff Serio, told us that Christian commentators have said that Europe is a “post-Christian” civilization; he thinks Europe is actually “pre-Christian”.  From what I experienced, I believe Jeff is right.  Europe is open and its people are hungry for real answers to the emptiness with which atheism and “religion” have left them.  Truly, as Jesus said, the fields of Europe are “white” and ready for harvest!