Our Germany team has been sharing Jesus with youth. Here’s just one of their stories, from Hilary, a student in our School of Ministry Development.
I was annoyed. My desire was to connect in a deeper way with the kids at the English camps we were hosting in Lychen, Germany. But the language barrier was difficult to overcome, and I found myself in a constant battle against fear and apathy.
God created Michaela to be a brave proclaimer of truth, but fear was holding her back.
So when I became friends with Michaela, I was excited. Just that morning God had been challenging me to be bold in asking for breakthrough in ministry. I had prayed to connect with someone on a spiritual level, and that’s exactly what happened. The more I got to know Michaela, the more the Holy Spirit began to show me about her. I saw how God had created Michaela to be brave, to be a proclaimer of truth. I also saw that fear was holding her back.
Every evening at camp we gathered for worship, teaching, and testimonies. And every evening, Michaela would pull me aside afterwards to ask question after question about my relationship with Jesus. She said she wanted to know him intimately, like I did, but she didn’t know how to overcome her fear. I shared with her from 1 John 4:18, how because of God’s love we don’t have to be afraid. But I knew there was more God needed to reveal to her to make that truth a reality in her life.
“There is no fear in love.
Perfect love casts out all fear.” – 1 John 4:1
One night as Michaela approached me once again, I sensed that there was something specific that God wanted to minister to her. When I asked God to show me what to share with her, he showed me a picture of Michaela gold mining. She was filling up her backpack with fool’s gold while real gold was right beside her, right where she was afraid to dig. I shared what God had shown me, how Jesus was the “real gold.” I told her, “God is calling you to stop searching for salvation in all the wrong places. He’s calling you to just come to him!”
Michaela started to cry. She said, “I have never felt like anyone understood me until now.” All night she kept saying over and over, “God is so good! God is so amazing!” It was clear that the truth of God’s love was hitting home.
On the last day of camp, Michaela told me she was afraid to go home, because no one supported her faith. (This is a common story in “post-Christian” Germany; many of our campers, if they know Jesus at all, are the only Christians in their families and schools.) Michaela and I prayed together that God would give her opportunities back home and show her how he wanted to keep working in her life.
And once again, God answered our prayers! Four days after she left, Michaela wrote, telling me she’d had a conversation with her dad that was deeply healing, reconciling years of conflict.
I’d been tempted to strive, or just give up, instead of trusting God for breakthrough. I’m so glad that he overcame my fear, and Michaela’s, with his perfect love.