Tag Archives: testimony

A Home for Daniel and Maria

One of our closest friends and fellow laborers we’ve met while here is Daniel. We met him about 2 years ago, when he was a new Christian recently returned from working in Finland. He shared his life story with us, how he had grown up in a bad home, how he became involved with crime, drugs, and prostitution, and how God had rescued him and completely changed him.

After trying but failing to kill himself with a drug overdose, he started reading the Bible and realized that Jesus had died for him and all he needed to do was receive His forgiveness. From that moment, everything began changing. He threw away the drugs, he stopped visiting prostitutes, he stopped lying and cheating, and all he wanted to do was tell everyone about Jesus.

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Sweet! The stains are gone!

vapoorizeDecent pants are expensive in Romania. I have a few pairs of blue jeans in various conditions, but I don’t have many pants I can wear for work at the school (i.e. not jeans). Two days ago, I found two of my pairs of pants got these big blue ink stains on them somehow. I quickly grabbed some soap and started scrubbing, but there was absolutely no change; the stain didn’t even smear.

Finally, I “prayed” something like, “Well, God, this sucks. I don’t have any money to buy more pants. I’ll get over it; they’re only pants, but still… You made the Israelites’ clothes last for 40 yeras, so you can make my clothes last, too. And they weren’t even trying to be faithful to you; I haven’t been perfect, but at least I’m headed in the right direction.”

And then I stuck them in a bucket of water, no soap, and thought to myself, “Maybe they just need to soak for a while… Maybe God will do something. And if not, I guess I’ll just have a couple pairs of shorts.”

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The Cost of Discipleship

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
– Jesus (Luke 9:23-26)

Here in Europe (and in America), we tend to spiritualize things like “taking up your cross” and “losing your life” to follow Jesus.  We very rarely think about the cost of discipleship in the same way the early disciples would have thought about it and in the same way Christians in many Muslim lands now think about it.

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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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Prayer Letter – December 2013

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It was… interesting today.

Today was an interesting day.  It seems every Sunday ends up being interesting over here, but today was more so than usual.

First, I joined my friend and ministry partner Alex at the local LDS chapel (I have no idea if “chapel” is the right word or not).  Alex and I aren’t Mormons, so I should probably explain this.  A few weeks ago, Alex had met a couple of missionaries while he was out sharing the gospel.  Rather than debating them or challenging them concerning the unbiblical doctrines of the LDS (which is more Alex’s natural style), he felt called to simply share his testimony with them, his story of deliverance from drugs, life-threatening disease, and a life of crime.  The two were so struck by his story that they came to church with him the next Sunday.  Later, they invited him to join them for their monthly “testimony Sunday” where the pulpit was open for anyone to share.  Of course, Alex can’t turn down any chance to share his testimony, even if it means going to an LDS meeting.

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Prayer Letter – September 2013

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