The Coming Tide of Faith in Europe

“How can we be ready for the coming tide? We sense God opening what has previously been closed and doing something different in Spain!” This was the observation from Catalan church-planting partners when I visited them as part of European leadership work in June.

This impression resonates with other stories we have heard from colleagues across Europe and our local experience in our European country. God seems to be doing something anew in the spiritual atmosphere over Europe that has visible outworkings—and we get to be witnesses to His amazing work! Where we have plodded with endurance in the past, we now feel like we are riding a wave of open doors. We are seeing more and more people come to know Him, and previously long-fought-for prayer battles for physical healing or spiritual breakthroughs for not-yet-believers to have eyes to see and ears to hear Jesus are suddenly happening. In fact, we have felt almost caught off-guard because the pace has accelerated so rapidly from what was familiar in the past!

In this, we have been confronted with how small our faith can be, still so based in things we can see around us. Otherwise why are we feeling so surprised at daily evidence of His power and might? But immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine is our God—so in that sense we can look forward together with wondrous, child-like anticipation to being continually surprised and amazed at what He does and will do! 

Miraculous healing and unexpected income
Here are some stories of God moving powerfully from just the past couple of weeks. A year-old believer who suffered from depression at conversion and was hospitalized almost the entire year thereafter for severe debilitating depression, experienced miraculous healing. She testifies to waking up one morning in the hospital, opening her eyes, and the darkness was … simply gone. The doctors are dumbfounded. With hands raised to the sky, she declares, “All I can say is God healed me!” This woman previously rarely opened her mouth to speak in a group, now she is praying aloud, transparently and boldly in her small group and at the worship service, telling her story in the public square of our neighborhood. She simply cannot keep silent. 

Another woman who became a believer seven months ago needed 2000 euros last week to buy a used car in order to drive to work. Their bank account had nothing extra. Her husband is not yet a believer, but this woman applied the truth she had learned—that her heavenly Father cares about all the details of her life—and prayed aloud for God to help and provide this money. They couldn’t “magically make the money appear,” but perhaps He would? The next day, the husband received an unexpected call from his employer. They had been thinking about his faithful work and voluntary unpaid extra hours and wanted to say thank you. He would receive a bonus—totaling 2000 euros. Did he want the money tomorrow? 

Unexpected questions about faith
A few days ago we welcomed a teenage boy from yet another European country in our home. On his first night with us, he approached me as I cleaned up in the kitchen to ask if we were all Christians. When I said yes, he asked if he could ask me a personal question—could I please tell him the story of how I started to believe in God? 

Twelve hours later, my husband had an appointment with a government employee. After a few items of business, the man asked about the spiritual nature of our work. The man was curious. He wants to believe in God, but how is that possible? He believes that we must have souls, that we are more than just random matter. If that is true, there must be a God who is real? The man spoke aloud his longing for God to reveal Himself to him personally, spent 45 minutes asking questions about the God of the Bible, and eagerly listened.    

Immeasurably more
We can easily count on 10 fingers, in 15 years of work in Europe, how many times someone asked us about faith out of the blue, so to speak. Those conversations have instead typically come from long-fought investment of prayer, intentionality, and trust-building over time. All of it was the Holy Spirit, of course, yet in recent days, we are finding ourselves astonished, with mouths agape in awe, at the crescendo of spiritual movement around us—nothing we are doing has changed per se, but the wind of the Spirit is blowing, blowing. 

We rejoice with you in these stories God is writing, the unfolding of a plot many of you are actors in: in the sending, the praying, the joining together of spiritual hands over the oceans—in your calling to stand together as a body in the universal Church to say “Yes Lord!” to a continent where there has recently been less visible fruit than some other areas of the world. 

Please continue to pray for this tide to wash over Europe. Pray the believers in Europe will enjoy and rejoice in bringing in the harvest, for it is white and ready, dear sisters and brothers, as Luke 10:2 teaches us! It is white and ready! May we fill the earth with stories and first-hand evidence of God’s “immeasurably more” throughout Europe! May we together get to be Jesus’ witnesses, telling people about Him everywhere—in Greece, France, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Portugal, Latvia, the UK, Italy, Slovakia, Belgium, Czech Republic, (to name just a few!) and to the ends of the earth. Amen! 

“Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (and in Europe!!), to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. 4:20–21.

 

Anonymous in Athens Barcelona Berlin SE Berlin SW Dundee Lisbon London Madrid Marseille Munich Toulouse England France Germany Greece Portugal Scotland Spain on Aug 30, 2016

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Give thanks to God for a movement of the Spirit spreading across Europe opening doors that have been long-shut.

Pray for the declining Church in Europe. Many see Europe as post-Christian and without hope. But we know that Christ will build His church.

Pray for two women, Monika and Andrea, who have recently come to faith against the odds in a hard-to-reach, largely atheistic European city.

Pray for Monika, that God would continue to heal her, give her a new purpose, and protect her life from physical harm, and for Andrea, that she would grow deep roots of faith and be a witness to those like her—unlikely subjects—of the reality of the grace of God.

Pray for missionaries seeking to minister to those who are critical and hard to love. Pray that missionaries would love their neighbor as Christ loved us. 

Pray for Europeans who have heard the gospel but are hesitant to fully commit to Christ. Pray that God would draw them to Himself.

Pray for MTW's ministry to refugees in Greece, Germany, Ukraine, Uganda, Panama, and the U.S.

Praise God for breaking through barriers in Germany and producing long-sought-after fruit! Pray for new believers to grow in their faith and lead others to Christ. 

Pray for refugees who are flooding into Greece and Germany. Pray for our missionaries and nationals partner churches as they seek to minister to these displaced people with the love of Christ.

Pray for the MTW Spain teams as they face cultural challenges of ministering to the older generation with a faith built on fear, and a younger generation disinterested in God.

Pray for Bogomil, who came to faith in Christ out of antagonistic atheism, and for others like him who have yet to embrace Jesus.