This post was written by Bethany missionaries. Please pray for more like them to be sent out. “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37, 38.
Sometimes we have ideas of what we want to do with our lives. Sometimes we know our skills and how we think they can be used. As a couple and family, we have learned that by putting our own ideas aside and instead allowing God to lead us, (sometimes along the most unexpected paths) our life has become much richer, but also more challenging than we could have ever predicted!
We met at Bethany in 1996, and married the following year, before heading out on our adventures across Europe from the UK to Romania, taking in the many sights and cultures along the way. We settled in Croatia in 1999, where we worked with a local organization in setting up and developing a new initiative called ‘Renewing Our Minds’. This was designed to bring young people together from throughout the Balkan region for three weeks to a big house in the mountains of northern Croatia. The aim was reconciliation, through looking together at the principles of Jesus of Nazareth. These young people were chosen from different countries, cultures, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Many of them had lived through such terrible trauma and war, and so being in a place with others who are perceived as ‘enemies’ was very hard for some. However, through the time that the young people were together, many great and long lasting friendships began.
We have had the privilege of following through on many of these relationships as our work has developed over the years. During that time we have become involved in setting up and assisting with various gatherings and initiatives in Europe that bring not only young people together, but also the leaders in the region. We travel and meet regularly with politicians and those in positions of authority in education, law, business, NGOs, etc. We spend a lot of time listening and mentoring those who want to know more about the teachings of Jesus, and how they can be applied in everyday life and work. There are now several small groups that meet in the parliaments for prayer and fellowship. Some of the young men, who we first met at ROM ten years ago or so, are themselves now leaders in their communities and countries.
Most events throughout the year are for the leaders, while we have also recently begun to run a ‘family gathering’ where wives and husbands, friends and children are included. This enables those who are very busy in life, to simply have time with the ones they love. By sharing with their peers about the responsibilities of leadership and learning together about what Jesus taught, we have seen many people change and grow in their faith and relationships.
So, good things are happening among the leaders and future leaders in Europe. Very quietly and privately people are meeting together, praying, sharing, learning, and encouraging one another through their friendships.
Our role is to enable and encourage, and we continue to see so many positive things happening. We did not expect to be called to serve among the ‘leaders of our world’ and we are very honored and humbled that the Lord saw in us the ability to do so. Be encouraged that if you decide to let God direct your paths, He knows what He will do with your unique skills to produce great results that will change people’s lives.