Leading Edge Acorn
Boarding the train to Prague a young woman sat down in my coupé. She stared out her window, lost in thought. I opened my Bible and read. Hours later, we began trading stories about life in the cultures of Europe. Lyuba grew up in rural Slovakia, studied medicine in Germany and worked at a hospital in Prague.
Preliminaries over, our conversation turned serious. Lyuba took an emergency room job to stay with her Czech boyfriend. She hated the pressure of making life and death decisions every day. After 10 years of study, she felt lonely, unprepared, and trapped in the wrong job. ... Read more.
Many who come to faith can look back at a trail of witnesses: family, friends, publishers, pastors, musicians and even strangers they met on a train! There are few skilled gospel workers who the Holy Spirit can use to point people like Lyuba to the Lord instead of the despair of secular European culture. Some encouraging stories follow.
By His grace,
Manager - Leading Edge International
|Polish Youth Tuned In
The 11th annual SLOT Arts Festival in Lubiaz, Poland finished last weekend. Radek, the SLOT Coordinator, said 6500 young people attended this year. More came than in recent years... and more were young families! This despite the fact that some other summer arts festivals in Poland were well down in numbers!
Justyna, the workshops coordinator, told me that they were very well attended. People were keen to listen to excellent presentations...worship sessions were held from the main stage...the Gospel was shared...and Andrzej told me that the "Mission to the East" eastern tents with their various world-view presentations were well attended...
Pray for Andrzej and Basha and the entire SLOT team to lead an effective personal follow-up effort for the many who were touched spiritually...
|Pavel and Julia's Testimony
|Pavel and Julia|
Similar to many American Evangelicals, Pavel experienced the upbringing of a solid Christian family and a local congregation of believers. Even though he was the only Christian in his school, he openly identified with Christ. Later, while at university, he met others with a heart for God, a commitment to reach out to non-Christians and a desire to make disciples.
Julia's childhood followed a vastly different path. Both her parents were members of the Communist Party. They taught her as a teenager that God does not exist. Their beliefs, however, did not "protect" her from meeting Christians when she attended university in Bratislava. When Julia put her faith in Jesus and told her family of her decision, they were incensed. Both her parents and her sister held important positions in the communist structure; Julia's new identity as a believer jeopardized their jobs. Being part of a small fellowship of Christians gave Julia the support and courage she needed to continue in her faith despite pressure from her family.
Her faith deepened thanks to the young mother who took Julia under her wing during an emergency in her life. Milena led Julia's small group Bible study and let Julia stay in her apartment while recovering from a serious car accident. Milena managed the demands of a full time job and care for a household with several young children in a cramped apartment with grace. Julia has never forgotten what it was like to experience genuine sacrificial love.
Today Pavel and Julia lead the Parakletos ministry of counseling and pastoral care for families and leaders of the small evangelical community in Czech Republic. Writing, speaking and personal counseling are tools they use to influence the most secular country in Europe which 500 years ago was the vanguard of the Reformation and the early Moravian missionary movement.
|Hannah Leaves for Poland Soon
Instead of searching for a job as a social worker after graduating from Winona State, Hannah chose to take the risk of living in a new country with complete strangers who share her desire to tell young people about Jesus. She found out that ARKA and YFC in Wroclaw were looking for native English speakers to serve in their ministries. Hannah has nearly finished raising her support. She can't wait to get to Poland before the school year begins.
God has given Hannah a heart for people whose lives were broken by abuse or addictions. She loves creating a safe, friendly environment with food and fun that makes it possible for young people to discuss the Bible and their own real life problems.
This fall ARKA School will use Hannah to hone students' English skills. Similarly, YFC-Poland will introduce her to their work pairing mentors with troubled inner city teens. In both cases Hannah wants to build relationships, share her testimony and wake up teens to ways the Bible applies to real life. Follow Hannah on her blog.
| Family Camp in Slovakia |
D3 Association - Allan Bussard: For the last 20 summers we have been part of a group that organizes a week long family camp in the Slovak countryside. Normally, about 150 people come together for a week. The mornings are spent in discussion around the Bible. The afternoons are spent in the wilderness. The evenings are spent interviewing interesting people.
Each year we need to close registrations in April or May, as we cannot accommodate all who want to come.
Many who come are not Christian believers. But after a few years, they begin to self-identify as those "in Christ". Normally, this process of gaining a new identity is a mystery. But it is as natural as the countryside we gather in. And then the discipleship process begins...slowly, surely and just as mysteriously -- a joint effort by friends, community and Spirit.
It is the most effective infection with the Good News of the Gospel I know. This year camp began on July 22nd. Please pray for the Spirit to continue His work in the lives of those who came.
| Power Generator Envy |
Is there a difference between envy, covetousness and jealousy? The English word for jealousy derives from a Latin term that means zeal. The Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible for envy and covetousness also relate to zeal.
So if I covet, I zealously pursue a selfish desire for the rightful wealth or power of another. If I am jealous, I will not share what I consider "mine". But when I envy, I crave what rightfully belongs to another. When the urge arises to resent someone else's job, house, pension, inheritance, kids, fitness, influence, clients or employees, I am about to disobey the 10th Commandment.
This sin doesn't exclusively tempt the "rich." Integra recently reported that in the middle of the night someone carted off a power generator that served the region in Kenya where an Integra business employs 65 poor women. The small factory was processing macadamia nuts just harvested by 200 poor farmers. Because someone coveted that generator, the poor families connected to this business face losses. And Integra's plan to extend this business solution to poverty to 200 more farmers is at risk.
We are grateful that you have chosen the opposite path, to share what you have with others in need.
| Prayer Focus: Czech Rep.|
More Czechs believe in UFO's than in God. Fewer Evangelicals live here than anywhere in Europe.
The Lord can swiftly change the "least to a 1000" Isa. 60.22 Pray the few who labor do not grow weary or tired. Isa. 40.31
* Download Prayer Page
| My Missionary Moment|
Jesus handled unusual encounters perfectly like the woman who washed his feet with her hair during a dinner party and the man who started screaming "Jesus, you are the Son of God" while he taught in a synagogue. Following the faith of my Belarussian friends in Spasenie Band, I agreed we should never turn down an invitation to perform as long as we were guaranteed the chance to share the gospel.
Spasenie has partnered with a local traffic police campaign to discourage drunk driving. We were excited to accept the captain's invitation to perform at their Christmas Eve concert, even though it was held in a nightclub. What we didn't expect was that another group of performers were also invited that night - a troupe of Russian Go-go dancers! How did we find out? We were getting ready to go on stage in the club's only dressing room. The Russian dancers walked in and started getting ready for their act too!
| Board of Trustees|
Neil Lessman - Russia
John McNichols - Fishers, IN
Don Helmer - Noblesville, IN
Jane Lessman - Russia