Tag Archives: addiction

Back from the Dead!

I say it with awe:  Vasilica is a woman of prayer.

A few months ago, her oldest son Alberto was diagnosed with HIV infection, contracted as a result of his heroin addiction.  A couple weeks ago, his health had so badly deteriorated that he was taken to the ER where he remained in critical condition.

But his mom began to pray.

At one point, doctors were telling her that Alberto was dying and there was nothing they could do, that she had best prepare for his passing.  She pointed to heaven and told them, “God says when Alberto lives or dies, not you.”

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It’s Worth the Embarrassment

Jake and I joined Alex on Tuesday at Piata Obor to pass out gospel tracts near the subway station.  I love the work Alex is doing, and his zeal for sharing the gospel (driven by his own experience of radical transformation when he discovered the message of the cross) is infectious and challenging.

Alex is a guy who really doesn’t care what he looks like out there sharing the gospel, knowing it’s by nature foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).  It’s an unnerving and challenging but also inspiring characteristic.  I’ve been in the subway with Alex when he’s started a conversation with me loud enough to be called open-air preaching, and the results were similar.  My first time joining Alex for evangelism, he convinced me to grab his bullhorn and start preaching… in English… with no interpreter.  I’m still not sure how he convinced me that was a good idea.  Other times, he’s stopped young women on the street and asked them, as a grandfather might, “Why are you dressed like this?  Don’t you know you’re causing guys to stumble?  Don’t you care about their souls?”  Hanging out with him can be, well, embarrassing.

The bottom line, though, is this:  if hell is real, and if sin destroys men here and for eternity, and if Jesus really rescues men, then the gospel is worth your and my embarrassment.

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17 years living in the sewers

homelesssewers

On December 1, I came across the story of a man whose life was transformed by Teen Challenge’s ministry in Bucuresti. Emmanuel ran away from home as a seven-year-old boy. On the streets, he made a home in the sewers and quickly became addicted to aurolac and then to heroine. His life was spiraling downward, and he figured it would only continue to get worse.

Seventeen years later, a miracle happened.

He met a girl, she got pregnant, and Emmanuel realized his life needed to change.

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Human Trafficking in Romania

human_trafficking1

This last week, we met with two different people who have been working to end human trafficking in Romania. I didn’t take nearly good enough notes, so I won’t try to make this post a summary of the meetings. But I do hope to give some information about the issue.

Ryan and Andrea, a missionary couple sent out from the US, came here specifically to work towards ending human trafficking and bringing healing to those trafficked. They have been traveling across Europe meeting with individuals and organizations, trying to sort out fact from fiction and learn about the difficulties in this line of work.

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Lessons from Jericho: Examine the Stronghold Closely

I have been getting a lot lately out of the story of the fall of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27).  Not only has it been intellectually interesting, but the things God has been showing me have been strengthening to my own walk with him.  I had gotten lazy in the walk of holiness, and I realized a few weeks ago that a spiritual stronghold of the enemy had begun to take root in my heart.

In an earlier post, I brought up how the battle starts in recognizing that you are called to be holy to Jesus, separate from the world, set aside solely for his purposes.  It’s what he has called you to, and it’s where he intends to take you.

The next post, I brought up how God must be an integral part of your relation to this city.  If you want to see it go, you’ve got to look at it with God at your side or you’ll get overwhelmed and decide to give up.  Before you even go to battle, when you’re just sitting there looking at the stronghold, seek God’s advice, ask for his help, and follow his directions.

Today, I want to look at the deeply uncomfortable but absolutely vital next step…

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Lessons from Jericho: Invite God into the Midst

As I was reading through Joshua and the story of the taking of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27), God began to draw my attention to some insights in fighting strongholds of sin in my own life.  Many of us are currently or have in the past dealt with an area of sin that seems like it just won’t let go.  For many this means an addiction like pornography or masturbation (Woohoo! Here come the hits from Google!), alcohol and other drugs, or simply entertainment (the all-around favorite in America).

In an earlier post, I wrote how the first step is to understand that we are called to, created for, destined for, and going to get total holiness.  It’s in our DNA, and God intends to bring us there.  The same message the angel gave to Joshua needs to enter our heart as well:  “This is holy ground.”

But how do we become that holy ground?  How do we get to that place?  How does the “supposed to be” become the “already is”?

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