No one in humanity is promised his next breath. Life is a precious gift from God. Ask any parent you know about the experience of gazing upon a newborn as he takes his first breath - it is nothing short of a miracle! Yet so often we find ourselves expecting another moment… another day… another weekend… more years to come. This is why news reports of children or teenagers tragically losing their lives at a young age tend to grip the hearts of many. It leaves us asking the question, “Why was that life cut so short?”
Question: What is green, over-the-top obnoxious, and beloved by children in Eastern Europe?
Answer: The Charis Bible College (CBC) version of the Incredible Hulk!
Personified by 2nd year student, Martin Stone, the green comic character came to life and brought smiles to hundreds of kids, while proclaiming that Jesus is the ultimate superhero.
Have you ever wanted to just do a dance in a public space, even though people would be watching, and you would be embarrassed beyond belief? Maybe you just received a phone call with great news and your first inclination was to jump for joy, but you didn’t because….Why does there always have to be a “because”?
In modern day Europe what many people feel, they struggle to explain in words. Something is wrong with the world around them and this feeling of not knowing or understanding what that is, is like a splinter in their souls….constantly annoying, a bit painful and never ending. The feeling of completeness or happiness is sought in many different ways, but nothing feels truly freeing. Instead of gaining a sense of wholeness, many feel even more disconnected or lost after seeking out the world’s wisdom. I have actually heard statements like, “It seriously feels like there is a hole in my heart, and nothing will fit into that hole.”
In some respects, Easter is front and center in Germany, and in other ways it is invisible. From a historical perspective of acknowledging Germany’s Christian roots, Easter is honored. Public schools were closed the week before Easter and again this week. Businesses, and all retail stores were closed across the nation on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. For many, Easter in Germany is a two-week holiday – nothing wrong with that. The stark reality is that the vast majority of Germans have no spiritual connection to this, the most important Christian weekend of the year. Easter has become such a popular vacation time that many churches downsize services. Imagine churches in the USA and other nations cancelling services on Easter due to lack of interest.
Our journey began by walking through fields of towering water reeds in northern Serbia, near the Hungarian border. The EI team consisted of six male students from Charis Bible College, a German videographer, a Serbian pastor, and me. We were led by a Muslim refugee we had met just minutes before.
Bringing life to spiritually dying Europe requires some out of the box thinking. In 2012 European Initiative was privileged to engage in many creative forms of unconventional ministry. The Lord’s vision to reach His creation is simply astounding and it never ceases to amaze me how His ways are SO much greater than ours! 2013 is already shaping up to be a wild ride in Europe for European Initiative, as we look forward with expectancy to how His plans will unfold.
In January 2013, European Initiative will take more than 4,300 brand new pairs of shoes to six Gypsy villages in Romania! We will also give away hundreds of coats to children, teens and adults – clothing which is essential for their survival during the freezing winter months. PLEASE PRAY FOR US, AS THIS IS EI’S MOST EXTENSIVE OUTREACH IN ROMANIA TO DATE!