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Published: July 19th 2006
We have now been in Krakow, Poland for 1.5 weeks. We are done with tour and are now leaders in a Jesus Revolution (JR) Summer Team. A Summer Team is a two-week missions trip for youth. We train them for 3 days in dance and drama along with teaching on evangelism then send them out on the streets of Krakow for the rest of the time. This year Teen Mania from the States has teamed up with JR, so there are many Americans here. The Teen Mania team also participated in the Summer Team in Munich, Germany which was the two weeks previous to this Summer Team. There are many other Summer Teams going on around Europe right now as well.
I am a team assistant for a French girl name Sophone who is working in JR on the Poland base team. We have a team of five girls. One of the girls is American and the other four are Norwegian, from age 14 to 21. They are absolutely precious! I am really excited about encouraging them and helping them to see how God has an amazing plan for their lives. I want them to see that although they are
Some of the girls
This is some of the girls on the way into the indoor waterpark on a day off.
young, they can make a difference in the world. I want them to realize they truly have a spirit of boldness and that they let God use them to the fullest, to not let the fear of man hold them back.
We are a dance team, so we trained intensively for three days to learn two dances that we then took to the streets. Our dance team of seven teamed up with a Teen Mania drama team to form an outreach group. On the streets, we took a speaker, a couple of microphones and ourselves. We started off with a dance, then introduced ourselves, had another dance, a testimony from one of the participants, the drama, and then finally ended with the gospel. After we are done with the ‘show’ we go out in groups of three to speak with people. For this group of three, I am the leader over one of the girls from my team and one the American girls. I know I am challenging them and pushing them to be bolder and what is also very cool is that it is forcing me to be bolder. I know they are watching me as an example
Karoline and one of the girls from her team
This is in our lovely dorm style room. We even have our own bathroom! This is luxury for us.
so it is causing me to step out even more than I have before. I LOVE IT! I love seeing how they are starting to step out and just give what God has given them to others. Seeing and helping people grow is one of my favorite things.
It is so wonderful to be used by God to open people’s eyes and bring them hope. In Poland over 90% of the population is Catholic so some may think it is silly for us to be evangelizing here but we’ve found that almost every person we’ve spoken to who claims to be Christian has no clue what they even believe. When I ask people if they know if they are going to heaven, most say they hope so or that they don’t know.
We’ve had so many amazing conversations that I don’t even know where to start. But one that sticks out, because it happened last night, was with a couple. The woman said she was Christian but the man was not sure. After she spoke with us for a while, with tear filled eyes she said thank you for really believing and living that out. He was a
little tougher. But God gave us words for everything he said. He went from calling us stupid and the beginning of the conversation to saying he could see a little bit of God in us. He was a tough guy who probably had a really horrible past but I know God touched him while we were speaking.
I’ve danced for an audience so much over the past seven months that doing it on the streets just seems natural. It is even more fun because these songs don’t have any particular meaning other than to show the joy of God, so I can just smile and have fun. The one challenging part I knew I might face is having to preach the gospel on the streets. Anyone that knows me, knows I USED to be scared to death of public speaking. I wasn’t too worried about giving my testimony in front of people, because I’ve done that in churches and schools during our tour, but when you know it is the gospel you are sharing it seems like such a huge responsibility and you really don’t want to mess it up.
The second evening I knew I would be
asked to preach so I made Karoline pray for me before I went out with my team. (Side note: Karoline really needs prayer because her back is not doing well at all and she has not been able to go out for the outreaches). While the drama was going on, I just stood on the side praying for God to give me the words and peace. I also wanted to have boldness and for people to see I really believed what I was saying and for them to see God through me and His heart for them. As I was standing there with the microphone in my hand and saw a crowd of people looking at me I felt absolutely no nervousness but just a strong desire for them to know the truth. No one responded to the alter call but I know God spoke to people through me. Afterwards Sophone told me that I have a gift for preaching and that I spoke very clearly and I didn’t speak too fast (that’s amazing for me, since I always speak fast). She told me I have to continue preaching when I go home. It’s hard to tell if people are just being polite but I really hope God is able to use me in that area.
A few days later, she asked me to preach again. I had a feeling that would happen so I asked Karoline to pray for me again before I left. The first time I preached I wrote down before hand what I was going to say because I wanted to make sure the gospel would come out clearly. This time I decided not to rehearse at all but just ask God to give me the words of what to say for that time while I was out on the streets. During the drama, I once again started praying and I was thinking of all the conversations I had with people during the past few days. I started thinking about how many of them were claiming to be Catholic but had no clue what the gospel actually said. I felt like, that was the point that I needed to get across. In the middle of preaching, a guy approached me and told me to shut up. After he said that, it just made me bolder and I then said that we had the truth and nothing would stop us from sharing that with people. I continued to preach and then he walked by once more and shouted some cuss words at me. After I was done preaching, he walked by yet again and told us we were blaspheming the church and that all we cared about was money. I think there may have been something wrong with him. He never actually stopped long enough for me to have a conversation with him. I later saw him bothering one of my girls while she was speaking with some people so I walked over. I heard that man and another man getting into an argument and they ended up getting into a little scuffle. One of them slapped the other and then the police came. Nothing ended up happening and the guy who was yelling at us got away.
After preaching, I feel so much love and thankfulness towards God. I can’t explain it but after those two nights I just wanted to stay in God’s presence and express my love and thankfulness to Him. I think it is because I can see how much He’s changed me. I feel like I have a real purpose that I am making a real difference in so many people’s lives. The life that I am living is not about myself, it is about Him. I feel so privileged that He would choose to use me, that He would give me words to touch others, to really pierce their hearts and give them hope in this ‘crazy’ world.
I also had the opportunity to give my testimony another night. That was also fun. I never thought I would like this so much, to hold a microphone and share Jesus and my life with others. People keep telling me how powerful I am when I am sharing, whether it was the gospel or my life. I hope this is true and I hope that God will continue to use me. I want people to have what I have. It is wonderful to live free of fear, to really live and throw everything you are into something knowing it is worth it. I know I can never fail in what I am doing. People may not always be receptive and say yes I believe right then but I know that I am doing what God has called me to, by planting seeds. Someday perhaps I will get to see the fruit but for now I am just happy I get to play even this role in His work. I pray that I do not lose this when I go home. I don’t want to lose this passion and love I have for Him and His people. I don’t want to back down, instead I want to become even more bolder and more obedient to Him. This is what really living is!
I haven't had a chance to check out the city, other than when we are doing an outreach, but what I have seen so far is incredibly beautiful! I hope to experience more of it on the last two days before we head back to Oslo!
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