Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tent Service in Lausanne

Tuesday, July 10th
Today has been incredible to the infinite power. Really quite spectacular, actually. Last night, the AYC group had a prayer meeting about the city of Lausanne and today we saw a lot of those things we brought forward in prayer come to pass.
After breakfast this morning, we were put into one of six mini-groups who were responsible to head out fliers to a worship concert that us AYC-ers were going to put on in the middle of Lausanne's train station. the service was actually a tent that we all stood in and sang out of to the passers-by. I had a lot of new and fun people in my group. We were told to go to an assigned area of Switzerland and outreach. Our leader couldn't quite find the route, even though she has lived here for six months. hahaaaaa!!!  So, instead we just decided to wander the streets and hand out fliers to whoever was on our route to our lunch destination.
Let me just preface what I am about to share with you by saying that this whole trip, I have been feeling extremely convicted by the fact that i am not fluent in Spanish, or at least not as fluent as I feel that I should be. Being here in Switzerland has been (ironically enough) a constant reminder of this particular inadaquacy. Maybe I'm stupid, but I never expected that Spanish would have such a presence here in this part of Europe. Every single time that I hear someone speak the word of God in Spanish, I just start bawling. i really feel that I need to push myself to learn the language upon returning home.

Now back to my story, while we were handing out fliers, we ran into a motorcycle riding/hippy-ish looking dude who was wearing reflective sunglasses, his hair down in a shoulder length curly mess, a bandanna around his head, and dangly earrings (like a pirate). Anyhow, he was handed a flier and then proceeded to ask some of the group members where they were from, in French of course; we responded and then shared looks of confusion and he attempted to have a conversation with us in French. Our group leader was the only person in our group who actually speaks fluent french. The rest of us are completely useless when it comes to that. unfortunately for us, our group leader was nowhere to be found and so we (a group of about five) were completely on our own. The man, upon realizing that we are tourists, then looks around and directly looks at me before asking if anyone in the group speaks Spanish. My heart started racing, and all of my insecurities came forward in my mind. I spoke up and told him that I spoke Spanish. It was God, but I was able to have a whole conversation with him. he first asked if we were a sect. I told him that we weren't a sect, but that we were Pentecostal. He then talked about how he didn't understand the message of Christianity and how it is all essentially the same repetitive idea. He asked if we were Catholic. I told him again that we were Pentecostal. He asked what that meant, and I explained about the day of Pentecost and as much as I possibly could about how there is only ONE God. He said that he didn't understand this concept and that he hates Catholics. Random right? Eventually though, he starts saying how he is an Atheist and then he begins to bash Christianity. I asked Kim, a member of the group, to go and get our group leader. Our group leader showed up and spoke a few words to him in French, and the man handed her the flier and walked away. The interaction was very strange, but that man can't say that he never heard about God. Also, it was a great opportunity for me to trust in God and just trust my instincts with relation to my language abilities.

After this interaction, we stopped for lunch at a Pizzeria that only serves one kind of pizza...Hawaiian pizza. The good news, is that lunch was delicious; the bad news is that we got lost on our way back to the the tent service and were a few minutes late.

The group at the pizzeria

When we arrived to the tram (train. It's a lot like Oregon's max/trimet stations) station, where the tent was set up, part of the group was already there worshiping and praising God. People passing by started to gather around the tent just to see what all of the commotion was about. We stood in that tent and praised God in worship songs for three hours. In the beginning of our service, there was a gay couple who decided (upon realizing we were a Christian group) that they were going to sit on a bench in front of the tent, where we could all see them clearly, and make out. Still, we worshiped God. Some people stayed in the audience for the whole three hours. We saw an African American woman who just could not leave. She would stand in the audience, obviously moved by God and she did not know how to react. She smiled and sang with us. She would leave, only to return time and time again. There was an African American couple who stood for the whole time and sang along with us. They could not bring themselves to leave the area. This whole time, I have been praying for God to send us the hungry souls, when God does exactly that. God sent us a man who asked for physical healing. A group of us prayed for him, and you could tell that he was overwhelmed by God's love. He told us how he felt something different than he ever had in his life and how he no longer felt the pain in his back. He was so excited to tell us that God had healed him. He wept and told us to wait as he went to get his family; he wanted to share his experience with them. He returned maybe twenty minutes later with his entire family. This man brought his wife, his brother, his children, his mother, and anyone else he could find. All of these people were prayed for, and wept in the presence of the Lord. None of them received the Holy Ghost, but the seed was definitely planted on fertile soil. A lady in her mid to late fifties watched as we prayed for this man's family and approached a small group of us ladies, led by Bridgette Mann, asking if we would pray for her. She was already crying. She told us how she needed us to pray for her son, and also for her loneliness. She said how she was all alone, with no friends and nobody to talk to. We prayed for her and she could not contain herself. She hugged us all and kissed some people on the cheek. She was so surprised that complete strangers could show this kind of love and friendship with her. She could not say "Thank You" enough. We asked for her contact information, but she told us how she had discontinued her phone service, simply because no one ever called. We gave her the Lausanne church information and she left to bring us her husband. We never saw her again, but I believe that she left us with a sense of happiness that she did not come to us with. The audience would watch as we prayed for people in awe, and we actually had some people dancing as some of the group who could speak french witnessed to them. It was just awesome. It was absolutely incredible. A few of the AYC-ers testified and gave God the glory while some of the audience listened. Vicente Mestre, the pastor who is actually starting a church in Lausanne from our efforts, spoke to us about how God is doing great things and how us being there really made a huge difference. I mean, think about it: WE are responsible for starting the Mestre's church (which will be Spanish speaking)! How awesome is that? It's only epic. We went to the dinner hall, where we were served Colombian food by Sis. Mestre, and then we prayed over the Mestre family. Only God knows what is in store for them, but I am sure that it will be absolutely fantastic.
Here's a taste for what we did in Lausanne, Switzerland.
I apologize for the poor video quality.

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