This is absolutely amazing. God blows my mind.
When I was in the Netherlands last summer, it wouldn’t have seemed to an observer that we did much. The thing we did most was pray. We walked around the VU campus two different days, praying for the students, the professors, even the grounds and classrooms of the university, which is an astonishingly secular school for a college founded by a Christian man.
On one of those days we sat in the student building looking over the bustling courtyard while our Dutch friend, a student at the VU who had become a believer less than a year before after growing up Muslim, told us about the students on campus. She told us that the majority of students are either Muslim or strongly secular. Their ideas about Christianity are hazy at best– they say to her, “You’re going to church now? What do you do at church, pray to icons?”
They have no idea what a Christian looks like. They’ll say, “We know what a Muslim looks like. They bow down on their prayer rugs to pray five times a day, and fast during Ramadan. What do Christians do?”
So we prayed and prayed for walls of ignorance and hostility and hatred toward Christ and his Body to be broken down, that Christian students would find a way to make Christ known on campus and encourage each other in their faith.
That was a hard trip in a way, because much of what we did had no immediate result. We prayed and prayed, but only later are we seeing some of the effects.
Michel became a believer weeks after we left; we were allowed to love him and pray for him, but God’s Spirit did the rest. Now the VU is beginning to see the light of Christ. Not that I think this Chair of Church Planting wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t gone, but God knows how He wants to work, and He sent us there!
It’s a powerful testimony to the need for prayer and our complete dependence on God to do everything, even the work he sends us on. I praise Him that He allowed us to be used those two weeks, and I eagerly expect Him to continue His wonderful work.