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.”
The MAZE. It is an evening where the ultimate illusions in life are contrasted with the ultimate goal of salvation. The MAZE is a 2-hour presentation where Jim Munroe, founder and chief performer, along with his two assistants, confronts the audience in such a way that reality is held in check. Captivating illusions keep the crowd wondering what is reality. By the end of the MAZE each person in the audience is challenged to consider this truth: the reality of Jesus Christ!
Has God ever painted a picture in your head? He did so for me just the other day. It was a vision of a beautiful wheat field ready for harvest. God was walking into the wheat field, leading me by the hand. Lately, He has been teaching me how it is Him who leads us into the harvest. As we follow after Him, He creates amazing divine appointments that showcase His active work in our lives. I want to share a serendipitous story that exemplifies this, a story about a young girl named Maria.
European Initiative is heavily engaged in a war for Europe’s spiritual destiny. From the outside looking in, there are many signs that point to this continent’s spiritual demise. Atheism and humanistic thought are running rampant; 7 out of the top 10 countries in the world with the highest suicide rates are in Europe. Germany, the country that I live in, will close the doors to over 15,000 churches in the next few years! Most Europeans have no interest in Jesus and few know why He even came to earth. Europe has become the dark side of the moon in its spirituality but as one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, writes in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, “Aslan is on the move!”
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.
European Initiative recently mobilized an international team of 19 individuals from 5 different nations to bless the impoverished Gypsy population in Transylvania, Romania.
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.