Southern Europe: A day of rest

Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

It is very hard to believe we have come to the end of the trip.  What started as a very daunting and monumental challenge, God has transformed.  Everyone on the team has expressed their heart-felt desire to continue the work, and have become comfortable in difficult situations.  We are all so very thankful.  In some small measure I hope we have learned something of what Paul meant when he wrote, "...I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  (Philippians 4:12-13) Certainly we have not been without food, but we have most definitely had to depend on God for our strength in difficult circumstances. 

We have seen God do amazing things.  This week the other team leader and I have prayed together that we would experience the work of the Holy Spirit in amazing ways.  We prayed that we would meet some who had experienced visions of Christ calling them to Him.  While that did not happen as we thought, the other leader had an encounter with a man who was very adamantly opposed to the message we brought.  After a very lengthy discussion he prayed for the man and felt led to pray that man might have a vision of Christ that very night.  We knew we may never see the man again, but believed God could reveal Himself.  Amazingly, that night, our leader had a dream he was attacked by the man, who came at him with a knife.  They struggled together and then the man began to try to stab himself.  Our leader fought to keep the man from killing himself with the knife, holding him in a headlock as he pushed against the knife - then he woke up.  We believe that dream was a direct answer to his prayer.  We also believe the man he prayed for may have also been given a vision; we hope God will use it to change his heart.

Even more amazing, was our final night of worship together.  I have been praying earnestly that we all would participate in seeing someone come to salvation. While in faith, we continued to hope and pray for big things, the last day seemed slow and relatively uneventful. A theme that came to my heart was Psalm 46:10, which says, “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  The day ended and we assembled for our final worship service of the trip.  As we entered the building a man approached me asking if he could join us.  I asked our hosts and they agreed.  During that service one of our hosts was able to share the gospel with him and he made a decision to follow Jesus that very night.  Everyone was there and got to share in the experience!  This was a direct answer to my prayer for the week and took place at the very last session!  Our God is truly amazing!

In the end, our combined team distributed 1,817 packages which included Bibles, the 4 spiritual laws, and other instructional materials, all 1n multiple languages.  This is a record number of packages given out since the beginning of the outreach.  Three of the highest days ever recorded were this week.  Pray this material makes its way into the hearts and hands of those that will respond.  We know God is building His church and we are grateful to have been a part of reaching very difficult places. 

Today we debrief and have an afternoon of rest before our departure tomorrow.  Please pray that we will be able to recover from a very tiring schedule and that we will continue to enjoy good fellowship.  Also, please pray for the next two teams that pick up the work today. Finally, please pray for our travel schedules as tomorrow is another very early morning; we must leave for the airport at 2:00 am. 

Thank you for your prayers!