This is a testimony from Athens that I posted nearly two years ago.  I continue to be amazed by God’s work – He draws near people far from Him.  Helpless people. People that aren’t notable, by human standards.  Desperate people.  Praise God for His grace in our lives!

I know of no greater miracle than God’s work of changing our hearts.  He alone moves us from cursing Him to praising Him.  He’s done it in my life.  I can also bear witness that God has transformed S’s life (see story below from Athens).  I am praying to see many more great miracles like this.  I continue to pray this for refugees in Athens.  I also pray to see this power at work here in Quincy.   May His church bear witness to the power, the miracle, the grace of God’s work in our hearts!

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After our feeding program on Friday, I joined a few of my teammates in a circle with three refugee friends.  One of those refugee friends was “S” – a young Afghan seeking a better life in Europe.

“S” shared with us bluntly, “I thought that I coming to Europe for a better job, a better education, a better life… but God has shown me that it was a journey for truth.”

After weeks of asking questions and studying the Bible, “S” was convinced that what he needed was the Jesus of scripture.  Not Jesus the good teacher, or Jesus the prophet.  “S” knew that these were not enough – another teacher or another prophet did not offer a solution to sin.  “S” knew that he needed Jesus the lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice; Jesus, the Son of God, God-in-flesh.  Only this Jesus, the Jesus he saw in scripture, offered the forgiveness that “S” knew he needed.

As the eight of us sat in a circle, “S” shared his testimony: why he left Afghanistan, the first time he heard the gospel, how this truth resonated in his heart and mind.  “S” used the metaphor of a journey to explain the work of Jesus: “I realized that I was far from God, and the journey back to Him was too much – an unimaginable distance of huge mountains, deep valleys, hot deserts, wide rivers, thick forests.  The journey was impossible for me.  Just as I had begun to despair, I heard about a way to close this huge gap.  Jesus is like a plane that made this impossible journey for me; Jesus could go over the mountains, over the deserts, over the rivers and forest and valleys.  In Jesus, I’m able to do the impossible; in Jesus, I am brought near to God; in Jesus, I have forgiveness!

After this, “S” made a confession of faith – “I believe that Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God; I take Him as my Lord and my Savior!”  “S” knows that this faith will likely be accompanied by rejection, the rejection of other Afghans, the rejection of His family.  Yet, “S” is resolved.  Jesus offers something that his friends and family cannot! “S” understands that he has now been adopted into God’s family.  With this, we prayed for “S” and shared some brotherly encouragement and hugs.

Please pray for “S” – his faith, his courage, and his growth in Jesus.

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