We sat in a small church room crammed with people, elbow to elbow. Some old, some young—bound, free, lost, found. As the leader of our trip walked to the front of the room to bring a message, we all held our breath in anticipation. I actually held my breath in fear. What was the message going to be?
Sitnice, Croatia had been visited by others with the message of hope before. They came, they preached, they left, just like we were going to do; and the mark left by previous missionaries to this place was not good at all. Sadly, this can happen when fulfilling the Great Commission. In Matthew 13, the parable of the sower describes how some people receive the truth with a joyful heart, only to have it choked out due to the hardships of life, the promise of riches, lack of understanding, and lack of discipleship. We honor the missionaries that tilled the ground before us, but we realized it was our responsibility to water and till some more.
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.
A few years ago I was reading John 21:11 and was struck by the precise reference to 153 fish which Jesus caught. Why would it be necessary to record such a specific number in scripture? That random number perplexed me then, and to this day. On a recent missions trip to Serbia and Hungary, however, “153” resurfaced again.
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”?