Recently a team of Charis Bible College students partnered with the European Initiative to bring the light of the Gospel into the darkest reaches of Eastern Europe.
There, they ministered throughout major cities, small villages, in a children’s hospital, and at three Budapest public schools. Two hundred and forty-five people made decisions for Christ during their two week stay! But it seems that the students were most affected.
“The verse in Acts kept rattling through my memory as our bus bounced and tumbled down the dirt roads on our journey to the Roma villages: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean’ (Acts 10:15, New Living Translation). We had met the children from this particular village the evening before, and their bright eyes and radiant smiles flashed across my mind as I prepared my heart to experience the reality of their lives. Once I stepped off the bus, the children embraced me and clung to my arms and waist.”
Bible college student and missions team member Sydney Stamy couldn’t fathom why these children would display such love to a complete stranger—especially to one who could not speak their language. “God reminded me that it was not about me; they were drawn to the Jesus inside me.”
The light of true Love drew people like magnets everywhere the missions team went. In the subways, crowds of twenty-five to fifty would gather as students portrayed that love through skits and music. In the schools, hundreds of eyes looked to their small group leaders to confirm the love and acceptance portrayed through those same skits.
“Words cannot capture the extravagance of God’s love that I felt on that [trip]. His love is deep and wide. God highly esteems His children and has constant thoughts about them. His love stretches beyond borders, across oceans, across the universe to reach them. He is near His children and pursues their hearts passionately. During my time in [Europe], I experienced a mere glimpse of God’s compassion for His people and recognized that, more than ever, there is a battle waging for the hearts of [people],” Sydney recalls.
As believers, we must continue to search out the lost and fight for the wounded souls of God’s children so they can gaze in wonder with childlike faith at His goodness—so they, too, have the opportunity to cling to Love the way the children clung to Sydney Stamy.
Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”  And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.Mark 10:13-16 (New King James Version)