As you can imagine doing street ministry in the Red Light District can be pretty intense. We have been prayer walking each Tuesday and sharing with people on the streets on Friday's. A few weeks ago we had some really great experiences. Four of my teammates and I set out to share the gospel and God moved radically on peoples hearts. As we walked by one of the windows a woman was singing. She opened her door and began to sing a beautiful song one I had never heard before, "I have never known a love like this before." It was a deep moment as she sang a song of freedom into the air it filled that dark alley. During our prayer walk that week I saw myself crying on the streets for purity with a broken heart. I didn't know when or how that would happen but I found out this particular Friday night. As I walked by one of the windows I saw a woman and I felt the Lord's heart speak to me, "she is lonely." A friend of mine and I approached the window and I began to share God's love with her. Her eyes illuminated with hope and life. After walking away I could only go a couple of steps before crying and she noticed my tears. A few days later I saw her again and approached her window. She asked me why I was crying and I was able to share with her more deeply the Father's love. We have become friends and all I can see when I see her is God's beauty. I love Francis!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Every Wednesday I have been volunteering at a homeless shelter called De Tueede Myl with one other girl from our team. We serve coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches to the community. I have met a lot of amazing people that have come in and out of the shelter. I love to listen to people's stories and hear their perspective on life. The Tueed Myl also holds a short Bible study in the middle of the day often stirring up a lot of conversations among the guests. This opportunity has been one of the highlights of my time in Amsterdam.
This is Theodore a former boxing champion of the Netherlands in 1945. I met him at the Tueede Myl (homeless shelter mentioned above). His life story really touched my life deeply and he refers to me as his granddaughter. He never knew either of his parents and was adopted at the age of three. He was in World War II and he loved only one woman for his whole life. They had one son and were married 64 years. She passed away in 2007. Theodore lives a street away from the homeless shelter and comes three times a week just to occupy his time. He is a Christian and he is so full of joy and hope. He invited me over on numerous occasions and he has touched the lives of our entire team. His story really impacted my life and I will never forget him. He gave me one of his trophies. His life amazes me so much because of his pure devotion to God and his wife while living only streets away from the red light district. He exemplifies Philippians 2:15 So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
On Valentines Day our team bought 50 roses and we handed them out to some of the women in windows. We had this outreach idea and Kona and it went really well. We were able to share briefly with many of the women how beautiful they are and how much God loves them. You could tell that many of the ladies had never received such a random act of kindness and it was a blessing to be able to show them a little love and respect this past Valentines Day.
Friday, January 8, 2010
This is the hiding place in Corrie ten Boom's bedroom. Corrie's simple message to everyone she could tell was, "Jesus is Victor." The ten Boom's house was a safe haven for Jewish people during the second world war. This amazing family helped hundreds of Jewish people with food, shelter and Christ's love. While being arrested Mr. Ten Boom (in his mid 80's) was told by a Nazi officer that if he would comply they would allow him to stay in his home. His response was, "as soon as you leave I will open my door to anyone who knocks." He was arrested and died in prison 10 days later. He's my hero!
Some of you may have read The Hiding Place about Corrie ten Boom's life. Well this is the crawl space where 5 Jewish people and one Dutch person escaped The Nazi's. We visited the house this week. I had read the book years ago but being in the actual house made this amazing family so much more personal. Corrie and her sister Betsy were such an amazing women! They were in a prison camp during the war and the Lord gave Betsy a dream saying that both she and her sister would be released and free before the new year. Betsy died shortly after and Corrie was released by an "administrative mistake." They were both FREE! Corrie spent the rest of her life spreading the gospel. It was so inspiring to be in a home full of history and devotion to Christ our Jewish Messiah!