But first, an update from the weekend. Friday afternoon a group of about 10 of us from the base (mostly photo DTS students) left for Dresden to visit an Islamic Mosque. Our leader (who is also one of the school leaders), Jon, went there before and was invited back by the Muslim he had met before. I wasn't too interested at first in going, but once I went to the information meeting, I really felt like I should go. I was really excited to be going for an informal meeting to share our beliefs with the Muslims. Once getting to Dresden, we walked around the block that the Mosque was on, and prayed for God to go before us in this meeting. We went in and met with the men that were there; they were very hospitable, but we found out that it was more because of their obligation, than their desire. God began to work in my heart as we were there. The more we talked and shared our beliefs, the more the Muslim men said that they agreed with us, and that we believed the same things. It was really frustrating because they are SO deceived! They blatantly lied to us also about some of their believes. My heart broke for them! One of the men brought is small daughter there, Jasmin, who was about 6 years old. My heart broke for her. I saw no hope for her future - growing up Muslim. She was brought into a world of deception, lies, fear, and no love. I wanted so badly to scoop her up and show love to her. She laughed some, but I knew it was only shallow happiness of this world, and not the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. We also got to experience one of their 5 required prayer times, in which they recite part of the Q'uran (Koran). This broke my heart; they prayed to Allah (God), but the relationship was not there. There was no personhood to this being that they recited empty words to, no personalization to their prayers.
After we enjoyed a meal with them, listened to them read from the Q'uran, and discussing more of the "similarities" between our religions, they had to pray again, so we decided it would be a good time to leave. We had been there for about 4 hours. After we left, we walked down the street and then gathered around for a prayer of closer. God had really broken my heart for these people and as the others prayed that the Muslims eyes would be opened to the truth, tears began to stream down my cheeks. I could stop thinking about how hopeless Jasmin's future is apart from God, and how the men that we met were so religious and decieved that it seemed hopeless that they would ever see the truth either. I just stood there, holding hands with one of the girls that I have become close to, and cried. I was later reminded of a word that had been prayed over me about 3 months ago, of me going to many nations and declaring the love and truth of Lord. The woman that prayed over me also said that she saw me in Arab clothing, preaching and teaching and telling world leaders about the love of God. I believe that God is calling me to a Muslim country for outreach, but we have not yet found out where the outreach locations are yet.
On a lighter note... after getting our stuff settled for the night at the Salvation Army that we stayed at for the night, we decided to go and walk around the city for a few hours. Some people went out for some food, other just walked around and took pictures; Bethany (my good friend, and a base leader), Melody (the girl whom I mentioned previously), and I decided to just walk around, chat, and see if we could find a cafe. After wandering around we decided we should head back towards the main street, and on the way we found a nice cafe where we had gelato and tea. When we finished, it was time to meet up with the rest of the group at a designated place. I was certain that my mental tracking was accurate. After getting sligtly turned around, and actually only taking one wrong turn, I decided to stop and verballing go over the way we had gone, and how to get back to where we needed to be. Thankfully, my mental notes proved to be accurate, and we made it back to the group only 20 minutes late. We then had to take the tram back to the Salvation Army, which included one tranfer. We got off the first tram, and then Jon realized that we needed to be at a different station on the a differnt street that branched off from the one we were one. He looked, and saw that the tram we needed to be one was coming....and then turned down the other street. We started walking towards where it was stopped, but Jon did not think that we could make it in time. I thought otherwise. I measured the distance and guessed that it was less than 100m away... I had run that in track and was confident I would get there in time to hold the tram. So... I took off. I sprinted to the tram and reached it just as the doors where closing to take off. Thankfully I have long arms, and reached out to hit the button on the outside of the doors that makes them open. Yes, I had made it in time to hold the tram for the others. When they saw that I had made it, the started running too. Praise the Lord. We all made it on! I was out of breath, but the run was good, and thankfully I had been wearing my crocs, and not my other pair of shoes that would not have been good to sprint in. :)
Well, I actually have to go now... there's an orientation meeting that I need to attend, but I will update again soon and tell you all about the arrival of new students, moving, and the start of DTS.
Following His Lead,