Saturday, July 28, 2012

GYC Europe (as seen from my knees)

I have been trying to sum up my GYC Europe experience and it is not so easy. But I can say that I have seen God working and that should be enough to say everything.

God provided a wonderful team for the united prayer meeting room and I am thankful for each one of them. Not only did we work together as a team, but we enjoyed a sweet fellowship. It is amazing to look back and see God God caused us to meet at different events in Europe and how God used each one of us. Eight people from three different countries, each one with a passion for prayer and a burden for souls.

I will never forget when, on Monday, we decided to fast. We had all seen God blessing and moving upon hearts, but we wanted to see more of Him. And we all agreed that we should not only pray, but fast as well. We got together that morning, sat in a circle, searched our hearts and confessed our sins, than open the GYC booklet and started praying for all the speakers and E-COM members by name. What a blessed and unique experience that was! We prayed for leaders and for speakers in general before (and for those we knew by name), but this was actually the first time we prayed for each one of them by name, whether we knew them or not. No one was missed. I realize we need more of this and I hope that this is only the beginning of a habit that we will develop for these events.

We were so blessed to have Elder Maurer with us for the entire period of time and to have him join us in the prayer meeting for a whole hour during outreach. He even took some time to talk to us and give us advice about how to promote the prayer meeting. I praise God for him and his leadership.

I also praise God that the United Prayer Mini-Handbook is being translated in more and more languages. One evening, as I was talking to people at the booth, a young man from Sweden told me that they have already translated it in Swedish. Later on, a missionary in the Czech Republic ask me if they can translate it into Czech language and if I can help them print it out. What a joy it was to see that the Lord is opening doors for this booklet to be translated into many languages.

We had a few session of united prayer that none of us will forget. In one of these, a young lady prayed that God will teach her to trust Him. As she was praying, tears were streaming down her face. The following day she told that the Lord answered her prayer. The place were she was staying was a few kilometers away and in the evening two busses were going there. The first one took her to the very same place where she was staying, but the second one went only half way and she had to walk another 4 km. She missed the first buss that evening and had to take the second one. She got off the bus and started walking, but her heart was fearful. It was dark, she was in the middle of nowhere and she was really afraid. But as she was walking, the Lord told her: "Haven't you asked me to teach you to trust Me? Look up to the sky." She was hesitant so the voice repeated the request: "Look up to the sky." As she looked up, peace flooded her soul and she realized a few things. First of all, that the God who put all the starts in their place and holds them there can take care of her. Secondly, she got a glimpse of God's glory, of his majesty. All the fear was gone. She was beaming as she was sharing with me her testimony.

We also had a gentleman who joined us for a prayer session. After we were done with praying, he asked us to have a special prayer for him and told us while tears were flooding his eyes that he is dealing with a lot of guilt. We prayed for him and after we were done he told me that the prayer meeting was the most wonderful experience from GYC Europe. He is not the only one who have told us this. Another girl told me that at the last meeting of the small groups they were asked to share what they liked the most at GYC Europe. Two of her small group team members said that the prayer room was the best experience they had there. There were also a few young man who attended ARME UK and who kept coming to the prayer meetings. I asked them why do they keep coming and they told me that there is no better place to be than in God's presence. So, praise God for young people who understand that "for a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness." Ps. 84:11

Another prayer session that will never be forgotten is the one with the Czech group. Lukas and Sophie led the Czech group while Arlaine was praying with an English group in another corner of the room. Here are Lukas' thoughts on the prayer session:

I honestly have to say that it was one the most amazing sessions of United Prayer I’ve ever witnessed. Immediately after we started they were just pouring out their hearts in thanksgivings. We barely found a moment to start the song for transition, but when they finally sung I was moved to tears. I very much believe that Arlaine’s English group who was praying in another corner of the room was stopping their prayers to listen the wonderful singing of the Czech people. The confession part had a big impact on them. Later on I heard that there was one family among the group whose son confessed his sins to his parents (he confessed them to God of course, but in the hearing of the parents). The supplication part was most powerful and most unstoppable. They just poured out their hearts for their country. One of them who actually didn’t want to come to the prayer room and thought of leaving for half an hour spoke most fervent prayers during the supplication part which amazed the whole group (as I was told later). We finished our prayer session 20 minutes later than we were planning on.

I talked to the young men who wanted to leave and he told me that for the first 30 minutes he did not wanted to be there. He wanted to go drink water, eat, go to the toilet, get some fresh air just not to be there. But while he was there something happened in his heart and the walls of his heart started to fall down. He started to want to pray more and more. In fact, he did not want to stop praying. Every time I hear stories likes this, I am amazed of how fast can God change someone's heart.

Some of you may remember that, while I was at Youth inMission, I was invited to go and lead united prayer at AYC, a GYC in the Northern Germany. It's been almost 4 months since we started praying that the Lord will provide a venue for them, but it seemed that He forgot to answer our prayers. The month of July was coming to an end and the team had a deadline: July 25. If they could not find a venue until July 25 they had to cancel the event. The AYC team prayed, we prayed... On July 23, while we were praying at GYC Europe, the Lord answered all our prayers. 

You might also remember my experience from Youth inMission, how I wrestled with God and how I echoed John Knox' prayer: "Give me Germany or I die." I have never thought at that point in time that there will come a time when I will have more speaking invitations from Germany than from any other European country. God is faithful in answering those prayers. Four months have passed since I have prayed that prayer and at this GYC I have received the fourth speaking invitation to one of the mission school from Germany. I still do not understand why He chose me. I think I never will. But I know that I promised Him to go wherever He calls and do whatever He asks me to. And a promise is a promise.

It seems that the Euro-Africa Division is also determined to spread united prayer in the whole Division because the Personal Ministries and Sabbath School Director asked me to come and lead united prayer in a meeting with all the Union and Conference presidents from the whole Euro-Africa Division. So, praise God for leaders who know that the secret of power in our church is united prayer.

I have no doubt that God is moving more and more in Europe. I know that He is preparing His people. And I also know that we do not have to much time left. The more I travel, the more convinced I am that God has His people everywhere, that more and more young people are seeking for His face, that more and more are willing to give their lives to Him and go wherever He sends them. 

If there is something else I learned at this GYC, something that I knew but that became more clear to me, it is that working with a prayer ministry is a very humbling experience. It is the perfect place to learn humility and dependence on God, to seek only God's approval. This is exactly what I need. Nobody knows the amount of hours spent on your knees, nobody actually sees your contribution to such an event, nobody claps for the amazing work you have done or for the amazing speech you rendered, nobody knows how much you wrestle with God in prayer, how heavy the burden for souls is. And yet, He knows. And He cheers for you. And this is all that matters. You see people coming to the prayer meeting with a heavy heart and leaving with a smile on their face, you see people revived, people who realize their need of Christ, people who find His peace and joy, people who finally find Him. This is what keeps you going. This is what brings tremendous joy that no human applause can bring.

GYC was an amazing experience, but I cannot help wondering: What would happen if we prayed more? What if we surrendered all? What would happen if the leaders would join more in prayer at such events? What if we really used the power that is available for us? What would happen if we felt more a burden for souls? If we wrestle more with God in prayer? What if we pleaded more for the Holy Spirit? Could it be that we would see 3 000 or 5 000 converted in the same day? Can He trust us that much? 

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