Click here to read Part 1 – “Once Upon a Summer: Chasing Dreams”
Click here to read Part 2 – “Once Upon a Summer: The Long Journey”
Click here to read Part 3 – “Once Upon a Summer: Unplanned Lessons”
Click here to read Part 4 – “Once Upon a Summer: Welcome to Slovakia”
Click here to read Part 5 – “Once Upon a Summer: Gypsy Children”
“If you look closely, you could see the word “hope” written by the finger of God on the forehead of all.”
One of my journals from that summer in Slovakia contains an impassioned commitment to God. As I sat on an apartment balcony overlooking the mountains, I wrote a promise that I would fervently live each day for Christ.
Somehow, as the years passed, complacency crept in.
As I sit and read those words today, something stirs deep inside. What if, right here in my hometown, I were to once again live every single day with that kind of intense passion and purpose?
July 22, 1999
1:40 p.m. CET
There were two older men at Kids’ Club today—a father of one of the children and a young man in his twenties. The father brought clothes and shoes for us to give to people in need.
The Roma that we worked with were not known to give away their possessions. It was partly because they had nothing to give and partly because it wasn’t their way. What we had witnessed was a miracle, a clear sign that the Holy Spirit was moving on the people of Kostiviarski.
July 23, 1999
5:00 p.m. CET
It was a beautiful summer evening in the small gypsy village of Ulanka. It had rained earlier that day, and the air was filled with the clean, sweet scent of freshly-washed mountains. I was prayer walking with Eveline, a girl from Switzerland. Inside the village community centre, other team members were showing the Jesus video to some of the gypsies who lived in the town.
When we drank our fill – both of the beauty around us and of prayer – Eveline and I returned to the community centre to watch the last bit of the video. Inside, a woman turned to us with tears in her eyes. “I am amazed,” she said. “I have never heard about Jesus like I did tonight.”
Two people gave their hearts to the Lord.
(To be continued…)