Have you ever been so blessed that you feel it is hard to take everything in and you are simply overwhelmed? As I sit here and ponder over the last week and half, I can only say that God is amazing. And even though I know that my words will fall short in describing how awesome He is and how blessed I have been, I am still going to try to convey through words His goodness and blessings.
It all started with a group of dreamers who though they can get together over 300 young people. Some thought they are nuts. Never in the Scandinavian history there has been something like this, but they managed to make history in Scandinavia as God used them to bring together more than 400 young people from 23 countries. I can only say that God is really raising up an army of youth in Europe to finish the work. At least 3/4th of the attendees came up front deciding to serve God, to go to a mission school or in a mission trip when Jesse Zwiker (one of the main speakers and Director of Wildwood College of Health Evangelism) made the appeal at the commitment service.
I knew that God was going to do mighty things because, as soon as I accepted to go coordinate the prayer room and have the workshop at this event, Satan attacked me and I started doubting that the decision to go there was the right one. But I trusted His leading. It is so interesting that Derek Morris was spiritually attacked, as well. But God got the victory!
I have attended many conferences all over Europe in the last year and a half, but I have to admit that none of them was so centered around mission work and finishing God's work. It was such a blessing to see all the speakers and organizer having the same mindset and the same goal. It only confirmed that there is so much power in working together in unity.
I was so blessed to have a wonderful prayer team with people from Romania, Germany, UK and Sweden. Though the united meeting prayer room was in another building from the main meetings, I was amazed to see that many people came to pray with us. The presence of Elder Derek Morris was a blessing. I was pleasantly surprised to see people flocking to the prayer room after his workshop on radical prayer. They decided that they need the practice, as well.
We also had united prayer every morning in the main hall and I praise God for the people who attended every morning. The group was bigger than I expected and people were really blessed. After the first morning I told to some attendees that we are thinking to make small groups and give more people the opportunity to pray, but they begged me not to. So we had united prayer every morning. Many told me that they have never experienced something like this before and they were moved to tears. I praise God for leaders (Derek Morris, Reidar Kvinge - the President of the Norwegian Union and other pastors and speakers) who joined us every morning. We stayed until late on New Years Eve (most people went to sleep after 1-2 AM) so I expected that we will have a small group praying on Tuesday morning. But it was not so. The number of the people did not decrease, but increased New Year’s morning for the united prayer session.
God not only blessed people at this conference, but opened new opportunities for united prayer. The Health Ministries Director from the Finish Conference decided that he wants to start an IMPACT project in his country and he asked me to come as a speaker and coordinate the prayer room. I talked to him about translating the United Prayer booklet into Finish language and he told me to talk to the Editor for the Signs of the Times who also attended the conference. I did and it seems that we will have it in Finish, as well. Than, I talked to the President of the Norwegian Union about doing the translation into Norwegian and he said that they want to have it in Norwegian and will translate it. Someone from the workshop also promised to translate it into Estonian. So, we will soon have more translations of the booklet. Praise God that the united prayer is spreading!
God provided an unexpected opportunity to share about united prayer with a non-Adventist audience. I was asked to record a program for an ecumenical radio from Estonia. So I got to talk around 45 minutes about united prayer.
I have been very blessed by praying and talking to people, hearing their stories and passion for God. It is simply wonderful to see God lifting the burdens from people's shoulders. A mother came praying and crying before the Lord for her children and she left having peace in her heart. Another young man came to pray because he had just been informed that his 20 year old girlfriend had cancer. It was a great blessing to be able to meet again people I met in other parts of Europe. Many of them are thankful for a second chance to come to the prayer room and pray with us. And it is also a blessing to know that I will meet some of them in the next few months at different conferences in Europe. I count it as a huge blessing to meet new people and make new friends. It is very encouraging to see many other young people with the same passion for God and God's work.
One thing that God has been doing lately and He did it at IMPACT, also, is to rekindle my passion for education - true education as we find it in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the education that prepares people not only for this life, but for the life to come. It was such an inspiration to meet people with the same passion. It's been 3 years since I have not taught in a school, but God keeps reminding me about the importance of true education and I know that He is doing it with a purpose. I am eagerly waiting to see what He has in mind and why is He reminding me all these things.
I keep thinking again and again how thankful I am to be able to work with ARME. I feel so alive as I get to share with people about my passion for prayer, as I talk with them, listen to them speaking about their challenges and then see God answer their prayers, and bring revival in their lives. It is what keeps me going and makes me feel that I am really able to make a difference for God. This life is worth living just for Him. Actually, ARME is the BEST THING that has ever happened to me. I simply cannot imagine myself having to be in an office full-time, like I use to be with HOPE TV. I am so thankful that God knew what I needed and He opened the opportunity for me to be able to work and travel with ARME to spread these Revival concepts through Europe.
I believe with all my heart that today more than ever it is high time we pour our lives out for Jesus Christ. It is high time we live our lives for Him and Him alone. It is time we put everything aside and allow Him to lead our lives and use us in His service. It is time we make Him and His work a priority in our lives.
I know that many decision have been made at IMPACT Scandinavia. So join with me in prayers for all those who have attended and decided to make a change in their lives and give their lives to Jesus. Pray for those six precious souls who have been baptized. I have no doubt that Satan will try to hinder them from allowing God to take full control of their lives, but I know that our prayers can make a difference. Let's keep praying for the work in Europe. I know that many doors are opening, but there is so much more work to be done. May we all press together forward on our knees.
By Raluca Stefan, ARME Bible Camp Ministries