In December of 2015, I went on my first European Initiative mission trip as a second-year Charis Bible College student. Our team of 25+ students spent time practicing and planning beforehand to share the gospel, perform dramas, and teach in Eastern Europe. While I knew my mission trip would be an eye-opening experience, I didn’t fully realize what would take place within me.
Almost immediately upon arrival, my heart began to deepen with love for the people of Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine. As my heart became full of compassion for them, I started to see miracles. A man that could not walk, was dancing by the end of our time there. Other students experienced the miracle of deaf ears opening!
During my recent mission trip I felt like we were spiritual paramedics, on a rescue mission to save souls. The following paragraph is an impression I had about the work we were doing:
A shepherd. A woman. A father.
While these three might seem completely unrelated, in Luke 17 Jesus uses each of these individuals to reveal His heart for the lost. The shepherd left all within his fold to search for his one sheep that had wandered away...
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” – Saint Augustine
Empty eyes within spiritually darkened Europe reflect unrealized identity. Faces jump into my head and I see mirrors of the minds that are clouded by hurt, pain and lost identity… mouths that aren’t speaking, but with eyes that are yelling the confessions of a broken heart.
That was the question I asked God when I first arrived in Zagreb, Croatia.
I had traveled to Croatia with Ballet Magnificat. Our dance company was partnering with European Initiative, doing performances in the streets and engaging in conversations afterward.
“Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah’s declaration of surrender to God’s call has become my own heart’s cry after a life-changing week in Romania with a European Initiative team. I found myself immersed in an intense and redeeming experience where God drew me from the distractions of my comfort zone and pulled me directly to His heart.
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).
Count me among a miniscule minority who has never watched a single episode of the CBS reality show, “Survivor”. I have seen countless promos for the series, none of which have enticed me to give it a try. Through viewing the promos I get the gist of the show: a tropical location, bandanas, snacking on worms, and conniving plots to throw the competition off the island.