March 01, 2013

Jesus comes out of a sleeping bag

It’s about me
When I was under 20 years of age, my priority was to get skilled in combat sports. As I was training to be able to defend myself properly, I got a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu and some degrees in Judo and Taekwondo. Some tournaments came on my way, and I liked these fights. I wasn’t into team sports such as football. I’ve been doing many sports by myself. Archery, athletics, gymnastics, kick-boxing, fencing. But why did I throw myself into these individual sports? I felt lonely from time to time and this never really left me. This led me to excel in combat-sports and gain approval there. I got what I wanted, but it didn’t last. There were always higher degrees I could get, and the approval had to be renewed.
After my 25th, I went into the army to become an officer. But as you probably can imagine, the problem of loneliness remained. I did like people and hanging around with them, but somehow I felt ‘not in place’. I swung between feeling kind to very bad tempered. This feeling of wanting to ‘change the world’ and ‘leave me alone!’ stayed together with the loneliness.

Jesus comes out of the sleeping bag
When I was in the army, I got a little bible. During a field-training I would read a little with my sleeping bag over my head. It gripped me, but I couldn’t hold on to it. The realities between what I saw outside my sleeping bag and what I could read in my sleeping bag was just too big. Outside, I could see people running around, getting tensed, hurrying and drinking beer when possible. Inside the sleeping bag, I could read about Jesus healing people, and giving them “rest for their souls” as he said it. I wanted this.
After this I went on a holiday to South-Africa and was invited into a church. These people seemed happier than me, with less than what I had. I needed to stay cool before they would turn me into such a happy person. I would have a hard time trusting people, especially these church people, but these people seemed so full of joy and love. I honestly spoke to this God, whom I read about. I said:“God, I’ve tried to be a Christian, but I can’t. Now either you do something or I quit trying”, and that was it. One evening later, I had a powerful encounter with God Himself. He said very clearly right inside my heart –almost audibly- that He loved me, and that I’m His child. This was stunning and completely turned me around. Now I knew 100% that God was real, and Jesus came out of the sleeping bag!

My life since Jesus
Of course I had to get back into the army, but now something had changed. I had met Jesus, and I remember me wanting to read the bible and talking to Him. I had received a deep rest unlike anything or anyone could give me. I had an approval that no one could take away anymore, and I couldn’t loose it either. God had spoken to me very clearly and my perspective on life changed completely. Finally I had received rest! I had a purpose that was not fading away. Over time, the loneliness had left me too and never came back. I mean, how can I be lonely if God is always with me and I can always talk to Him? It’s not possible, ever since I’ve talked with Him and He with me. Sometimes through nature, sometimes through people, when I read the bible and also when I am simply quiet or sing to God. The ways that He talks are different, but always one thing remained the same: Jesus always kept on talking to my heart. My life has changed drastically, from a life for myself into a life learning to live from God’s love for me and loving others. I now know that I can not be separated from the love of Jesus and His friendship. I wish I could describe Him to you, but even than, I would come short. He simply is stunning. If you desire to meet him to, than it’s really possible. Ever since I started speaking about the reality of Jesus, I’ve seen people coming to know him too! It changed their lives also. Do you dare talking to him? I know he loves it and wants to give you a fresh, new life.

January 29, 2013

Short mission report of Tasiilaq - Greenland

It’s not easy to describe what I think others have experienced while we were on mission to Greenland. I can easily be wrong, but what I’m writing down below is based on what I heard and saw happening in this beautiful place called Tasiilaq.

We were there for about 9 days. We went together with Erna, an elder from an Icelandic church, who had been in Tasiilaq many times. It was going to be a very blessed time. And like in Jesus’ days, there are too many things to write about, and I will have to be short and strong in the testimonies of people, while more has happened.

What just caught me, was the question of a woman to Erna:”How can I receive Jesus?”. This happened in the evening, when we usually had our meetings in the house. Some people came, and others were brought along into our “open house”. The Lord was anointed to preach good news to people, and so are we. We can expect His workings in our midst, when we boldly stand for Him. And so it also was for a girl who came in to ask about Jesus. She had heard that we were also praying for healing, and she herself had pain. Her back and neck were painful. But during the praying not much did happen. She did feel some relief, but the surprise came when there was prayer for her leg-length difference. We saw them getting equal with each other, and the amazement came when she started walking. She walked out of balance for her feelings, but actually it finally was in balance and the back pain became much less. This left her mouth open.
Some days later she came back to ask something which we often call strange or spooky. Her son could see a dead person in the living-room during the evening. This was the reason that she invited us over for prayer, which we did. But we also explained her that Jesus wants to empower her with the Holy Spirit. We prayed for the baptism in the holy Spirit and after another short prayer for healing she felt greatly relieved from her back pain and a heaviness.

And as in the book of Acts, this opened another door to a sick person. We were invited to come and pray for her father who had a bad lunge. As we entered the small house, we walked into the living room. He was lying on the couch and on his shirt a dragon was portrayed. He came to sit on a chair for prayer, and when we started to pray, we could feel the power of God coming. A certain warmth came over him, and as with Jesus who felt virtue flowing out of Him, we could sense God working in this man’s body. He told us after the prayer that all pain had left him. He seemed a bit surprised. This problem was there for 13 years, and now the pain was gone. And we made sure he understood that Jesus had touched him.

When we were leaving the house, I rejoiced so much. It was so great to see God move, to encourage and strengthen other believers in their faith. It saddens me to see believers getting drunk, gossiping, slandering, living for themselves. I feel sad when I see or hear about that, because it’s not living to the fullest at all. Living to the fullest is living the life that Jesus lived, or better: allowing Jesus to live through us, because we have said a firm ‘no’ to ourselves. The joy you get from obeying the Lord is so great, the joy is not based on my feelings at all. It’s just there. Can you imagine a high, without paying for it? But many still pay money for getting drunk, enjoying themselves in places where the world also enjoys, using the same stimuli. What is the difference with many Christians and the world? A man who joined the woman who asked about the way to receive Jesus said:”She really wants to be different, live a life of love and be different from the rest who is always drinking.” And the deliverance came. She was given a new heart with new desires, which saved her from herself. This is why it’s inconsistent to keep walking in the ways of the world, because a Christian is given a new heart and desires. She was glowing with joy. It’s this good news which is so wonderful to bring to others. There really is salvation, healing and deliverance in Jesus Christ!