JUMP IN THE CAR AND HEAD FOR GERMANY! That’s the message I heard this morning from Sokol Hoxha, base leader at Schloss Hurlach in Bavaria. I was writing this Weekly Word on a totally different subject when a Skype call came in on my laptop, and Sokol’s familiar voice came through my headphones.
Two weeks ago I had been with Sokol in Schloss Hurlach at the KickOff preparations for the World Cup Football Outreach. Hundreds of young people from around the world were there, assembling into teams to spread out across the World Cup cities and beyond.
Having just returned from Munich, he was clearly excited. “People are so open to talk and receive the gospel!” he reported. “We have Africans, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans and North Americans out there on the streets, the squares and in the parks,” he added, “but we need more Europeans! The harvest is ripe, but we need more workers!”
I realised my planned Weekly Word would have to wait until next week and promised Sokol to get the word out immediately. After all, when was the last time you heard that the harvest was ripe in Europe??!
“Do you mean Germans and Europeans, or visitors to Europe?” I asked Sokol. “Both!” he replied.
He had met a young German-Italian named Daniel who had rebelled against his Catholic upbringing. But now he admitted that over the past few weeks, different people had come across his path to challenge him to look again at the truth of the Christian message. He was now weighing his decision about the claims of Jesus on his life.
Tilman Pforr, organiser of the YWAM outreach, reported meeting Germans who, on hearing a gospel presentation, said they had been waiting to hear such good news! Hitch-hiking between World Cup cities, Tilman was picked up by a German driver who immediately started to tell him his problems. His wife had left him, so he had had an affair simply to get revenge. In tears he confessed he was in a mess and saw no way out. Tilman shared his need of Jesus. Another passenger, a non-Christian, told the driver that what Tilman was saying was indeed the only way out of his predicament.
A team of Middle Easterners met a burly Arab bodyguard on the streets of Salzburg in Austria. He reacted angrily at their efforts to share about Jesus with him. He accused them of being traitors to Islam. But the team responded warmly and openly to him. They told him he would meet more people who would confirm what they were saying. A few days later in Munich, the young Arab met another team of Middle Easterners who indeed confirmed what he had heard in Salzburg. This time he responded with great interest. What the team was doing was great, he said, and he wanted to support them!
Sokol said that on his visit to Munich, one of the team leaders, himself from a Muslim background, couldn’t stop talking about stories of Muslims wanting to hear about Isa (Jesus). One German who had converted to Islam after marrying a woman from the Middle East now prayed with the YWAMers on the street to give his life to Jesus. And, he added, he wanted his wife to do the same.
At an international prayer camp run by the German Evangelical Alliance in Blankenburg, East Germany, intercessors pray through reports from prayer rooms in each of the twelve world cup venues. These reports too say that the crowds are open and receptive, but that there are too few workers.
“It’s still possible for people to join us,” Sokol appealed. “We can take people in Berlin and Munich as well as a number of other places. We really need more Europeans involved!”
So, Sokol urges, contact the World Cup Outreach office at Schloss Hurlach:
· phone +49 8248 122 47
· fax +49 8248 122 41,
· email firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next week, when I’ll tell you about my interesting journey towards Rome(!)
Till next week,