The bridge’s majestic spires ascend high above the surging waters of the Danube below. It is one of Europe’s most aesthetically beautiful bridges, and perhaps one of Europe’s greatest ironies. Budapest’s famed Szabadság Híd translated “Freedom Bridge” has sadly become a symbol of death. It is the most popular launching point for Hungarians to plunge to their death, leaving this life for a supposed “freedom” in eternity.
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:11
Satan is ever present in Europe, which has 6 of the top 10 countries with the highest suicides rates in the world. His ultimate victory is clearly evident at places like the Szabadság Híd, but his destructive forces are seen all across the landscape of Europe. Ride the subways of Budapest and look at the faces - empty faces. Forty-five years of Soviet socialism has left its scars. Godlessness, leads to depression, which then spreads like a cancer, breeding hopelessness and ultimately despair, ending at a bridge.
Jesus came that they might have life. European Initiative brought a team from Valley Creek Church in Texas, to bring life to the cities of Budapest and Berlin. We partnered with national churches, YWAM and Jews for Jesus, conducting several outreaches in busy city squares and transportation hubs. All with the purpose to bring a greater hope to the lost.
We worshipped, preached, danced, performed a drama, but all of it was simply a means to an end. The team of American and European believers talked one-to-one with hundreds of lost souls. Some were drug addicts, some were alcoholics, and others were just normal people -students, office workers, moms and dads. Few of them had hope.
One of them was a stunt man, who falls off of bridges and buildings for a living. Yes, really! EI’s Matt Lankenau spoke life to a young Hungarian for over two hours! Read more about Istvan and how the serendipitous encounter impacted his life.
The team from Valley Creek Church engaged in life or death conversations while ministering in Budapest and Berlin. In the two cities more than 1,500 heard the gospel and 30 people made decisions for Christ! Lives were changed and many new friendships were formed.
EI’s heart is to not only awaken new life…. but to help redeem the lost life in Europe. We will continue to proclaim the life-saving message of Jesus Christ in Europe as lives literally hang in the balance for eternity!