i came to the Czech in 2009 as an intern for the summer. during one of the three camps that i was at for the summer, cesky tesin camp, i met this really cool girl named Natalie. she was one of those students that was seeking the answers to the BIG questions in our world. things like: why are we here? what is our purpose? does my life mean anything?
Natalie was in my english class and discussion group, and this was her 2 or 3 camp. at the time she was kind of into buddhist thought and idles. she talked about being good to people and how she thought that this would be enough to fulfill her. she is the type of girl who would not accept the status quo and would definitely not accept weak answers to her questions. we had a lot of difficult discussions as a group and one on one; and i am sure that there were more unanswered questions than answered ones. all that to say that Natalie left camp without making a decision to follow Christ. this was obviously disappointing for me, but a reality of doing ministry in the most atheistic country in the world.
maybe you are wondering why i am talking about this student? well yesterday i was at training for the american team (camps start this saturday) and Natalie comes up to me and greets me. i am super excited to see her and say hi, but my brain is not processing why she is here at training. i soon realize that she is a Christian now and a part of Josiah Venture's ministry and that of her local church. i had the privilege yesterday to sit down with her over lunch and hear the missing part of her life story.
Natalie told me that after camp she was still seeking the meaning to her life and seeking what would make her happy. she told me that she started attending youth group in cesky tesin and was learning more about God. she said that a few months before camps last year, that she felt in her heart that there is only one thing that will bring her absolute and fulfilled happiness and that is God in her life. so she accepted him and started serving Him at camps. this year she is the main translator for camp! this means that she is responsible for translating the night talks and communication of the gospel to students!
God is so amazingly good in how He reaches people. i am so completely at awe that i was able to be a small, small part of Natalie's journey to finding the Lord. sometimes we get so caught up on things happening in the here and now that we forget that God's timing might be somewhere else and in the future. the truth is, is that we never know when we might be able to be a part of someone's journey to God and we need to stop tapping our feet at God waiting for Him to work; but instead we should be seeking out every opportunity to serve Him, realizing that if we wait around for God to work on our schedule we might miss out in being a part of His amazing plan.
Natalie's testimony gets me so ridiculously excited! i cannot in words even come close to describing how good God is. just to know that He is bringing students to Him, and that they are willing to turn around and serve and reach out to their fellow peers is so amazing. the impact that Czech believers can have in students lives blow mine out of the water and that is my prayer; that Czech Christian students and Czech youth leaders would be able to have maximum impact in their villages, towns, and cities, bringing the gospel to their fellow countrymen.
Praise the LORD!!!