Outreach blog: Cyprus 2015 update 1
Alex Ebert from Canada is on her YWAM-DTS outreach and has taken the role of team reporter! Here is an update on their steps into missionary life…
We have all been having an incredible time in Cyprus so far. It’s hard to believe that our time here is already half over! We have become involved with two main ministries here; Working with refugees and also with a college group that runs out of the Community Church.
With the refugees, we have been helping out in English classes, as well as just spending time with them. We felt so welcomed when we arrived, and have built many great friendships. We had a picnic with them the first week here, which really helped us to all get connected. There was sharing of food from other cultures, many stories told, and even a football game that broke out! There is a very strong family atmosphere among their culture, and it is one that we have been openly welcomed into.
We have also been having a great time hanging out with the students at the college group. The majority of the students from Burundi or Rwanda, all with a huge passion for the Lord. The first night we spent with them was more of a get to know you time, sharing our names, talking, and playing epic games of foosball. For the next time we went, we had prepared a teaching on prophesy! We hung out, worshiped together, and then spent time hearing God’s voice together! The students were a bit unsure at first, some not having a lot of experience in prophecy and some not having done it for awhile. The night ended up being great though; God spoke in amazing ways, and really blessed all of us with just how much he desires to be in relationship with Him!
Apart from our main ministries, we do quite a bit of street evangelism. The area we are staying in is always busy, so we have found ourselves doing both daytime and night time evangelism- both of which we have had incredible encounters with people, and God speaking to their hearts. These are just a couple of the many testimonies we have on the street.
Stefanie, Timm and I were walking home one night from the beachfront. We had stopped for a moment by a vendor cart where there was a young man working. Immediately he came up to us. We hadn’t even said anything! I know it was God drawing him. He and Timm began chatting quite a bit. This young man was from Bulgaria, and told us of the incredible ways Gods hand had been shown in his life.
When he was a boy, he was in a serious car accident, and the crash had put him in a coma for days. In that time he said he was in heaven, where people were walking around clothed in white, and he saw Jesus talking to people there. He said there is no place like it. He spoke of how perfectly peaceful it was, and how no one was sad there. It was an incredible story to hear. At the end of his time there, he said he was in a train station, and the train was taking people to heaven, but he jumped from the platform and awoke in his body. From then on he was always sure that God was there, but there were some obstacles between him and God. A few years before the accident he had had an encounter with an evil spirit that had been striking fear into him from that time onward. He spoke of being physically ill whenever he went into a church building, and having to leave every time before the services even finished!
Timm shared the gospel with this man, and he accepted Jesus into his life! We prayed, thanking God for what had just begun in his life.
Praise God for this mans testimony! Jesus’s love is so loud in this guys life. He is such a nice guy, and is hungry for his purpose in life. We are really privileged to have met him.
One morning for evangelism, we decided to go out and ask people what their passions were. As Wayne and I were nearing the end of our time evangelizing for the morning, we saw a young man walking toward us. We stopped him, and asked him what his passions were, to which he replied ‘playing football’. I saw that he had a tattoo of a rosary on his arm, and so I asked him what it meant, or if it represented something to him. He said that it was for beauty. This led us to asking him questions about his faith; whether or not he believed in God or if he had a relationship with Him. He kind of chuckled to himself as we did, not really wanting to give us much thought. That’s when Wayne pulled out a gospel bracelet, and asked if the man, whose name was Marios, had time for a story. Marios looked curious, but not super impressed, but agreed for us to tell him a short story, and he sat down to listen. Wayne shared the Gospel with him, while I prayed silently that his heart would be softened to the Word.
As Wayne went on, Marios got more and more sober, and seemed more interested. He did have some knowledge of the Bible, which was awesome, but nothing that connected to his heart. By the time Wayne was finished, we could tell that something had shifted in Marios. He looked to be on the verge of tears. Wayne asked if he wanted to receive the free gift of Jesus, to which he said yes!! Wayne led him in prayer, and that day, May 19, Marios asked for forgiveness of his sins, and declared Jesus as Lord! He looked so peaceful afterwards- a huge shift had happened! We walked away feeling the gravity of God’s love, in awe at how God sets up perfect times to connect with us.
For the future of our time here, we have really felt God speaking to us about living more in a state of His presence. For us, this means throwing out the traditional schedule, and going before the Lord every day to see what exactly He would like for us to do. We will still be involved with the ministries we are committed to, but as for our other time, it’s up to the Father! God is really challenging us and calling us deeper to not only have a good outreach, but an incredible one. We are so excited to partner with what God has for us!