‘It’s been like sowing seeds on concrete’ the pastor said.
The words echoed in my head and that phrase in itself just made my respect for the man go through the roof. For 30 years Zvonko and his wife had been plowing the ground here in Slovenia. Facing disunity and unbelief, judgment, and not tasting the fruit of their labour.
I can only imagine the leap in his heart when hearing about how God has been putting Slovenia on different people’s hearts to come over and help. To labour together and support what is already happening. To see the small beginnings sprout into blossoming trees, a picture that we can all relate to in this season of Spring. To be a part of pioneering is always standing on the shoulders of people who went before us. And even more linking arms with those people who have plowed and sowed with tears for countless years. Especially those people that we call ‘the locals.’
There is something incredibly exciting about being a part of the first beginnings of something new. The spark in people’s eyes when talking about the opportunities and possibilities. Praying into the desires on God’s heart for a place that is in such spiritual need and choosing unity amongst different people to build what God’s plan is and not to build our own little kingdoms.
Since the summer God brought Slovenia to our attention during our summer break. We started exploring and seeing what was happening there already and discovered soon enough there has never been any YWAM activity in the country. We managed to get in touch with as far as we know the only girl that ever did a DTS in the nation and things started rolling. Being in Kanses City in september, Reinier got in touch with 3 other key YWAM leaders from Grimerud in Norway, Harpenden in the UK, and Central Europe only to find out that God had also been putting it on their agenda to get into action to see YWAM pioneer in Slovenia.
It is always flabbergasting to look back and see how God is a master in putting the pieces of the puzzle together even before we know what the puzzle might even look like in the end. At the same time its a reminder to be faithful when God does give us a piece, to see that puzzle completed when we play our role.
The flip side of pioneering is how do we put the dreams, prayers and opportunities into action. What does it look like, when we move from the drawing table into reality. When we walk the streets and talk to the people.
One of the local people that shared with us quoted Ravi Zacharias by saying: “the most effective evangelism tool we could use in this age is being a worshipping community.”
And I think I have to agree on that one. At least as one of the most effective ways.
And to expand a little bit more on that a worshipping community is in my opinion not being a group of people that in side 4 walls is 24/7 singing worship songs.
A worshipping community is what we are when we went with our group of 10 from YWAM Amsterdam for dinner to a steak restaurant for one of our friends’ birthday. We walked in and at the door ran into an super friendly guy from Australia.
Soon enough we all sat down at the 2 tables next to him and some of us started talking to him. Just hearing what he was up to here in Slovenia and sharing what we were up to.
Long story short… By the time we left the restaurant our new friend Drew joined us outside and said as soon as you guys came in I knew something was about to happen. He decided he wanted to be a part of that Kingdom ruled by Jesus that we talked to him about and come home to his Creator. May that be that love that we carry for one another that is contagious to the world around us. For all to see, for all to be welcomed in. A worshipping community.
It’s been so exciting to be able to do this trip with our whole family and to take back to YWAM Amsterdam what our future piece of the puzzle is. As a base it’s been our DNA to pioneer to multiply in other places where we are not. We want to be faithful to our piece in this puzzle for what God wants to do in Slovenia and get the talk in YWAM Amsterdam going how we can send teams, workers and our prayers to see these new beginnings grow.
What a God we serve!