Thursday, February 2, 2017

The blessing of giving

A vision we had in our hearts for this Christmas was to go in four different places with gifts for poor children. It started small, but as we talked to people and gathered the shoe-boxes, we were amazed by the generosity of people and their open hearts. 

One of the places was Iasi and a village near Iasi where we gave shoe-boxes to small children from a very poor area. Being there was also an opportunity to spend time with the base leader in YWAM Iasi, as she is one of  the people we mentor in ministry. 

Another team from ELS Cluj when to visit the small YWAM team from Uzice, Serbia. It was such a blessing to spend time with Chris and Mirjam Klop and their children. We realize that Christmas really is and it should be a time to encourage others and poor your hearts in love.

One of the main focus area in our ministry is schools and kindergarten. We have found an amazing openness in Baciu, where we live. The teachers are really happy to receive teams from YWAM, so we took advantage and we also organize here an event before Christmas. We shared the story of Jesus and listen to carols from children.  

It was a complete blessing from God to be able to do all this, since we have been able to give, in total, 400 shoe-boxes in Baciu, Craiova, Republica Moldova, Serbia and Iasi.

By Florin Mihaly, ELS Ministries Cluj

YWAM United outreach in Athens

What an incredible day. We were out with some YWAMers and Tred who presented a great performance and shared the Gospel. Some great things happened. I was asked by one YWAMer to help him translate. In a matter of a few minutes we prayed for two people. One big guy who had a lower stomach pain and an older man whose back was hurting. 

We shared about Jesus and how He wants to show himself to them today. We prayed for them and they both received healing immediately! You should have seen their faces when they realised the pain was completely gone... They asked "who are you guys and how do you do these things?" We shared with them and one accepted Christ right there. 

I can not believe how this does not surprise me anymore... It's completely normal and I see it all the time. God is moving...And I am so humbled that He is allowing me to partner with Him in sharing His love at the streets...

by Timos Christoforidis

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Our Very Own Greek Crisis

The laid back mood was instantly shattered by the sight of broken glass 
from our hire car...

 YWAMers are known for being flexible: We are ready for anything and not 
afraid of the unknown or the unexpected. These are great skills to 
develop in the life we lead and they often open us up to see the 
miraculous hand of God at work. However, the following incident reminded 
me that life is wild enough without adding to the crazy by not preparing 
for those rare moments of crisis. Our CE Member Care Team have produced 
the Emergency Personal Data sheet for this very reason.

We had taken a trip to Greece to celebrate Steve's 50th birthday and 
were happily exploring Athens; seeing the ancient ruins, tasting the 
delicious food and enjoying in the warm Greek culture. Then it happened! 
Our hire car was broken into and my wallet (cash, bank cards, ID, 
driver’s license & insurance card) and Steve's passport were stolen. 
 From that point we were in full-on crisis mode; securing police 
reports, car hire claims and card cancellations; all of which would have 
been easier if we had made copies of the lost documents.

 It just so happened to be Thanksgiving weekend so the US embassy was 
closed: There was no way for Steve to get a passport in time to catch 
the flight home with me. To make matters worse, just after I left, Steve 
got really sick, missing his embassy appointment. Eventually he did 
recover enough to get a new passport and fly home a few days later. Then 
we waded through all the bureaucracy of replacing the stolen cards. It 
took over a month, but it’s all sorted now, AND we are working on 
getting copies of all our documents stashed away safely with our 
completed Emergency Personal Data sheet - just in case...

 The wonderful silver lining to this story is that the first day we were 
in Greece, I heard someone speaking with an American accent who looked 
familiar. It turned about to be Aaron Hoover of YWAM Athens. We were so 
blessed to join their Thanksgiving celebration later that week and meet 
the whole team. That in itself was a special birthday gift for Steve, 
but we had no idea how important it was to meet these people until 
later. When Steve got stranded, the Athens team kindly took him in. That 
same evening he got really sick, so they nursed him back to health and 
smoothed things out with the US embassy.

 God arranged for us to be well taken care of, even in a country that was 
unfamiliar and where (we thought) we didn't know anyone. God doesn't 
promise that things will never go wrong, but He promises to not abandon 
us when they do!

 By Jo Kilbry