I can’t believe we are almost done with week 2..
After going to the cafeteria and meeting new people, we usually have the weekends to think outside the box and meet new Czech students. While everybody went out to lunch with their connections, Laure, Scott, and I went to the park around the corner to throw the frisbee. We were only able to meet one responsive girl. We tried to initiate conversation with other people but were quickly shot down. One girl immediately stomped off as soon as we went in the area to play. One guy just shook his head when Scott asked him to play with us. Then the absolute worse happened. I tried throwing the frisbee to Scott, but I was way off of my aim and smacked right into these two girls who were eating lunch. The lunch spilt everywhere and embarrassment covered my face. We apologized extensively and started to walk off. After thinking about it a bit, we felt it was necessary to give them some money because of our obnoxious behavior. After that incident, we made our way back to the hostile.
Seems like a pretty crappy day right? Although those negative incidents happened, the one girl we did meet responded so positively to us. She was from Ukraine and believed in God. That simple belief is such a huge blessing over here. So many people immediately shut off any thought to God or a higher being. She graduated in International Law and loves tennis. She invited Laura and I to play tennis with her tomorrow. I don’t know how that will work out considering I am absolutely horrible at tennis. It is almost obnoxious how bad I play.
I am starting to feel worn out. Not tired of doing this, or missing home but just worn out. I am looking forward to my day alone with God tomorrow. From 8-2, we spend time with God. It is basically like our church. We separate from each other and go to parks or coffee shops and just dive into God’s word. I watched a sermon from Francis Chan last sunday and just listened to worship music. I also read from “The Reason for God” by Tim Keller. I never realized how much I take advantage of Sundays, church services, and a church family. I feel like I’m revived after Sundays. People think that just because I am overseas its like church everyday. That’s not true at all though. We pour out so much throughout the week. It’s draining. It’s awesome to see God move, but still very draining. We have 1 hour quiet times set aside each morning. That is such a blessing as well. It’s very easy to become busy and forget to have time with God.
I’ll share one lesson that God has been teach me before I have to go to the market. As I was watching the Francis Chan sermon on “Slavery Can Be Fun” last sunday, he shared a verse with me that changed my thought process completely.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
It’s hard to be encouraged here when there is little fruit. The selfish part of me wants to see lives change for the better. The selfish part of me wants to see people convert to Christianity because of the joy I’ve found in Christ. But the truth of this matter is we may not see the fruit. Like it says in the verse above, what can be seen is temporal but what is unseen is eternal. If I keep that mindset, my ministry will change dynamically. I’m not reaching out to these girls in order to get a response, rather I am reaching out to these girls to share life with them. I may not see or hear about the fruit in their life until I get to Heaven or future years of keeping up with them. That’s not for me to determine. I can’t force anyone to accept my beliefs, but I am challenged to live it out. My prayer is that the students see Christ in me. I hope the words they hear from my mouth are Christ’s, not my own.
Continue to pray for us!