Summer MLO Blog 8
Man what a ride these past several days have been. So many things have happened and so many places have been visited and they all amount to watching God's orchestrated pathway unfold right in front of you! I'm overwhelmed with emotion from watching God unfold His plan. To witness His hand in all that has occurred really is like watching "Miracles While Holding onto Jesus' Robe" (like the old movie "Miracle on 34th Street" or "It's A Wonderful Life") over and over again. I have often heard the phrase "Every day is Christmas," and I am here to tell you, it feels like exactly that: The miracle birth of Jesus at Christmas, happening day after day! Or the production of bread and fish to overabundance after feeding the 5,000 from two loaves and 5 fish!
I spent Monday and Tuesday working around HiS HOUSE and preparing for Stefan and Arie's arrival and for the rest of the team and visitors, which has grown dramatically in the last week. At the height of our MLO team coming from the states, there will be 32 from the USA plus over 40 visitors coming from other countries: 1 from Nigeria, 4 from Kosovo, 1 Macedonia and over 30 from Ukraine. What a blessing it will be to love on these visitors with Christ's love during their stay at HiS HOUSE. The house will be well above its max for a few days, but we know we have only limited opportunities to love on these people and God is providing this wonderful opportunity to do exactly that: to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to love them where they are and love them till they ask why!
Heidi arrived on Wednesday and that gave us a chance to look over this summer's MLO schedule and see where we could add some things or adjust if needed. She is a real blessing and I appreciate her hard work in making the Library Program work and making the connections with the Handicap centers and the SOS Orphanage. Also on that day, three coaches from FCA arrived to help me do some camps in Serbia and Macedonia. Jeff Sutherland, a dear friend and blessed brother from FCA helped me by bringing two other coaches, Nathan Blank and Kane Ulrich, with him to go into Macedonia and Serbia. After spending the morning in Sisak, we headed out of country to Macedonia and decided to stop in Belgrade, Serbia, to break the trip up.
When I called ahead to Vukasin in Novi Sad to help find us a place to lay our heads, he and Johnny came up with a great place just south of Belgrade city center. Well, God had a whole different reason for us to stop. When Georgie, one of Johnny's American Football players on his Blue Dragons team, found out that I was going to be in town, he immediately asked if I would baptize him. Vukasin called me and asked, awkwardly, if I would baptize Georgie. I immediately said yes and gave them instructions to find us a location in a pool or river. What an honor!
While on our drive to Belgrade, Vukasin and Johnny got busy looking for place and found a public beach on the Sava River in downtown Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. When we pulled into town we followed them all down to the park on the river where we met Georgie and several of his teammates who had come to witness Georgie's public profession.
After changing clothes I walked alone with Georgie and listened to how his life has changed by turning his life over to Christ and his trusting in Him and Him alone. Then we met up with the others and proceeded into the cold waters of the River Sava. After standing in the shallows and me asking him to publicly share his testimony and what this public profession meant, we walked out into the water. On the evening of June 6th in the River Sava on a public beach in downtown, Belgrade, capital of Serbia, I had the honor to baptize Georgie. In attendance were the 4 of us, several of Georgie's teammates, Branko the President the Serbia American Football Federation, Vukasin and Johnny. Almost all in attendance were non-believers and all of them were moved by the experience.
I had a long walk with Vukasin on the way back to the cars about what all that meant. Please pray for Vukasin and God working on his heart and for Johny as well. Also pray for our new brother Georgie and his witness here in this country. Georgie is from the USA and has been playing here for the past two years.
The smile on Georgie's face says it all! I was so richly blessed not only to be a part of this, but also to explain the significance of what and why this happened to those who attended. God is really working on all our hearts!
In the next couple of days I will fill you in on the baseball camp we did in Macedonia and the events surrounding our visit there, and also about the hockey and baseball camps we did in Sombor Novi Sad!
Blessings to you and thank you so much for your prayers and financial support. They are greatly appreciated!
HE DID IT!