I want to share a story with you from the first week of September and it marked our first "off week" of the season where we didn't schedule a school assembly. We are scheduling these "off weeks" this year in hopes to be better prepared and less stressed when we are going into the travel weeks. We are also using them to emphasize a more focused STINT training program. This week was special as well because, earlier this summer, the band that travels with us, Chye, was approached by Parkview Baptist Church in Lexington, Nebraska to help kick off their youth group programming by doing a concert on Sept 6th. We saw this as an incredible opportunity to do some great ministry together and have a lot of fun in the process. As you can see from the picture above, we were able to have an awesome night with them! After the concert, Alex was able to give his personal testimony and share about the importance of knowing Christ. It was also a great night of one-on-one ministry that came through a few different avenues -- not our usual setting of a school -- but still the same message.
I would like to tell you about what happened with Alex and his wife Ahna that I think you will be very encouraged by. Here it is from their perspective:
"This story actually begins clear back on August 18th at a Christian music festival called 'Livin' out Loud' in Gothenburg, Nebraska. The Lord had me at 'Livin’ Out Loud' this year for more than just a few good concerts. As I was walking through the crowd with a bright colored volunteer t-shirt on, a young man and woman approached me. As the three of us began talking, I quickly realized that this young woman had more shame and guilt than anyone I could ever remember meeting. She wouldn’t even look at me or talk. As she, Alyssa, stared at the ground, her boyfriend Lane, began to tell me that she had been raped for over a year. He showed me cuts on Alyssa’s arms and that she has talked many times about killing herself. After talking with them and showing them scripture for over an hour, Lane really took ownership of his own sin and saw his need for Jesus to come make him into a new creation. Right there that evening, Lane turned from his sins and openly declared that Jesus is the Lord of his life. But for Alyssa, she was not ready. At the end of our conversation, I got Lane’s phone number so we could meet up again, and I showed Alyssa a few specific verses on how she was knitted together by God and that she HAS value and worth because of the love Jesus has for her.
A few weeks later, Lane wasn't able to make a meeting we'd setup, so I told him about the concert Chye was putting on in Lexington, and praise God, he and Alyssa came! After the concert, I talked with him and he began to tell me of all the incredible things that had been changing in his life. God has been taking away the desires to look at pornography and he has deleted all of the girls on his phone who were just girls he would flirt with.He was truly seeing God’s love and power work in his life. While I was able to speak more truth from God’s word into Lane’s life, Ahna (my wife) took Alyssa so they could talk more one on one."
"As Alyssa and I walked away from Alex and Lane, I began asking her questions about her life. Alyssa was very shy and rarely looked me in the eye. But she quickly opened up about her past and told me how she was raped for over a year by a man who threatened to rape his own children (yes, his own children) if she didn’t keep coming back. She blamed herself for going over to his house and not turning him in sooner. I could tell that she had never told anyone this before because she could barely say it out loud. My heart broke for her while she told me what this man did to her. She said she didn’t just hate this man, but also herself. I reassured her that this was not her fault. I explained to her that because of Jesus' great love for her, He died a terrible death on a cross so that we could have life through Jesus. I pleaded with Alyssa for her to hear God's heart that He loves her and that she is made in His image and has worth and value, but sadly her view of love had been severely skewed and damaged. As we continued to talk, I came to a point when I asked her if she was ready to receive the free gift of eternal life and make Jesus the Lord of her life and she said she was. We knelt there and Alyssa gave her life to Jesus. Praise God! I am still talking with her and hope to continue to speak life and truth into her heart. Please pray that God will continue to heal Alyssa’s heart and make her more like Jesus!"
Wow! What an encouraging story! It's easy to see a pretty visible path that God has created for these two to walk on to draw them to Himself. It's awesome to marvel in His sovereignty when we hear testimonies like these! As Ahna said, please be in prayer for both Alyssa and Lane as they start their new journey with Christ!