Being surrounded by thousands of college students, I thought I was going to spend 100 percent of my time with them when I arrived in Eastern Europe. The pamphlet describing the position always talked about grabbing coffee with college students and investing time building relationships through sports and entertainment around the city. While this is the main focus of this trip, God continues to demonstrate just how powerful he is and how his love tears through spiritual barriers.
One of the ways we serve and share is through English classes offered every Tuesday and Thursday. The people who attend? Far from college students. Most who attend the English class are over the age of 40 and have pretty much settled down their lives while having years rooted in their Orthodox religion.
During one of the first weeks we got here, we held an English Intensive week, which means offering English class Monday through Thursday. During these four days a certain older gentleman was put into my group. Before this, he had had a bad reputation in groups and actually was asked to leave, but for some reason, he attended these four days of English Intensive. Once that week was over, he wanted to continue with the classes that we held twice a week and for some reason, God put him in my group again.
Once I thought about the fact that God was doing this on purpose, I tried to discern the best course of action to continue sharing the gospel with him effectively. During the English Intensive week, we would read Bible stories and talk about them, but it was difficult to get personal because there were so many people. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case after the English Intensive week ended.
In the first lesson, we focused on Genesis 1-2. He and I talked about different moral concepts, but for the most part he was closed off to talking about anything relating to spirituality. The second lesson focused on the fall of humanity, based on Genesis 3.We talked again about moral concepts and understanding of sin.
As we continued to talk and complete different lessons, his heart slowly started to open up. Around the sixth lesson, I felt the Spirit put it in my heart to ask him a question about Jesus. I really didn’t know what to say. So, when it was time for English class, I began by asking him: “What do you think about Jesus? Who is he to you?”
We proceeded to talk about Jesus for the next hour and a half, and it was something he wanted in his life. God has been hard at work in him previously and was pursuing him relentlessly.
Since then, he has gotten plugged into the local home church and is growing in his faith. Please pray for his spiritual growth.
Manuel, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, is serving in Eastern Europe with Go Now Missions. His last name is withheld due to security concerns.