As a part of our ministry work in this country, we have been working with a Christian run cafe. The cafe is very intentional in its support of locals from financially disadvantaged backgrounds as well as in the employment of a number of deaf workers. The leaders are believers, and have established a number of cool ways to reach out in the city. Several times a week the cafe plays host to a conversational English program, which invites local students to share with international guests, including our team.
This past weekend, the cafe hosted a discipleship weekend for some of its English students. Most of these students, who have had an entirely buddhist upbringing, have received some teaching and discipleship, but are still struggling with the issue of letting Jesus be Lord of their lives. In a restricted nation such as this, it can be difficult to teach on this topic. This weekend allowed us to share our experiences openly, without having to hide behind metaphors or allegories. We preached, shared testimonies, and answered some pretty difficult questions about the cost of discipleship.
It was very clear that God had been preparing the hearts of these young people for quite some time.
Many of these people faced rejection from their families and friends if they surrendered to Christ, so we shared, prayed, and encouraged along those lines. We also explored the practical sides of faith in hearing God’s voice, studying the bible, and living as a disciple.
An example of this was my roommate for the weekend. We only had two days to get to know each other, but as soon as we began talking, the Holy Spirit softened both of our hearts. She was able to be very honest and real with me about the reasons she had held back from giving her life fully to God, and I was able to share my own struggles in the past and the changes God made in my life.
It was amazing to hear this girl, who has known so little of what it means to be a Christian, slowly realize the importance of a relationship with God, and search for Him in such a eager way.
After our leader shared on Saturday night she came forward and asked me for prayer to experience God and for confidence to have faith in what she’s already learned.
We spent the next hour praying together and sharing with each other, and it was such a blessing to be a part of God revealing himself to her in a new way.
Slowly, He is opening her eyes more and more to his love for her. I’ve learned that God is patient with our decisions, and He is patiently waiting for many of his children here to give their lives to him.
Our team has been greatly privileged to be a part of this journey and experience for many people here, and we are excited to see them continue towards the path God desires for their lives.