Sunday, 18 December 2011

THE FINAL HOORAH!

after 6 months of traveling,
over 15 000kms,
in 1 van


to 7 different countries,
through 12 countries, 
with 7 people becoming family 
with over 100 group hugs,
and 1 God blessing us enormously

it has sadly come to an end.

It is hard to put into words
the incredible times we have all had.
and all the ways that God has taken care of us.
and how we have all changed and grown in Him
and what God has shown us
and the people we have met
and the way we love one another
and the fun times we have had

but we thank God continually for all these things.
none of us will ever forget transit team.

we are all excited to go home/back to life hope but please contiue to pray for us as we figure out and wait patiently for God to show us where we are to go in our next stages of life.

thank you everyone who followed us through this journey, and for all your love and prayers.
we love you all.

fare thee well.

(kristie said she might update when she gets home. who knows if that will happen, but just so you keep your eyes peeled. it aint over till it's over ;))

Thursday, 15 December 2011

....Farewell Finale....

As we approach our FINAL 3 days of this amazing journey, I will be taking us on a stroll down memory lane.  

video
July 2011 Transform Conference in Rome, Italy




video
OUR VERY FIRST TRIP IN GOOD OLE MR. CHUNKERS!!!! Headed to St Ives :)



video
Happy Birthday Quenny! December 5, Algarve, Portugal.











After 2 solid days of driving (12 hours per day) we arrived safely at our destination in southern Portugal on the 1st of December. God has been so amazing to us, protecting and providing every step of the way.
During the past 2 weeks we have had the priviledge of being part of and serving 5 churches. 4 of these churches are led by and largely populated by Brazilians. There are many Brazilians in Portugal, and Brazilian missionaries have come spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and build His church.
These Brazilians are amazing, passionate people. They were so kind, so welcoming, so hospitable and taught us a lot about what it means to love like Christ has loved us.

Quentin Van Winden Reporter

Quentin Van Winden reporting live from Porto, Portugal

Hey everyone! How are we?
Before I precede I'd like to sincerely and formally apologise on behalf of the team for our lack of updating. We do very much appreciate all of you who support us, follow us and pray for us. While we could come up with many reasons for our tardiness in this matter, we have no real excuse.We hope you can forgive us and we can move past this together.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Amen!

The last two weeks our team has been working at a homeless shelter in Paris. It is a place for the men and women to eat, get clothes, claim as their address, and hear about the word of GOD! Everyday at five and six o'clock we serve them dinner. Before the meal begins we sing, share a testimony, or read from the scripture and pray for the meal. After we get done serving the food we walk around and talk with the men and women. God blessed us with many ENGLISH speakers that we could communicate with! Praise the Lord! I met a man from Africa who spoke very good English. As we began to speak he opened up and told me about his life. He got fired from his job, he lost his wife and kids, he has no house or money, and in order for him to try and get another job he has to have a certain type of paperwork. I did not fully understand the situation with the paperwork but I asked if I could pray that he would get the paperwork he needed if it was the Lord's will. He said "YES!"

The following Thursday he came to the shelter again. We were talking about his day and he told me had been reading the book of John. I was pleasantly surprised! I then remembered about the paperwork and asked him how that was going and I got the best answer! "I got my paperwork because of God!" How exciting it was to see that man understand it is our Lord and Savior who does EVERYTHING for us! Please continue to pray for France and the lives we met this week. They are searching and God is doing awesome things in France!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Paris is a million different things to a million different people

Paris is my mums favourite city in the world. And I would agree.

“Well informed, eloquent and oh-so-romantic, the ‘City of Light’ is a philosopher, a poet, a crooner. As it always has been, Paris is a million different things to a million different people.” - Lonely Planet

And it is beautiful and eloquent and magical but most of all it is lost. This city although amazing has broken each one of our hearts. Only 0.8% of the population are Christian. These people know that they live in the one of the most beautiful cities in the world, yet they feel empty and this is because they need God, they need the peace and saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Over the past 2 weeks we have been working in a homeless centre in Paris. Most nights of the week we go in and help serve food, give a bible study and sit and talk to those who come in. but most of all we show Gods love. Each night there are around 80 people who come. It has been amazing to get to know the regulars and speak to them or just laugh with them at our lack of French. It is exciting yet heart breaking when we can have a personal conversation with a man or woman who shares with us how they got this point, it is amazing to be able to pray for them, to share with them the love of God. that it doesn’t matter that they have no possessions because Gods wants us, not our possessions.
We have been so blessed to be able to be a part of their lives for a couple of weeks and the stories they have shared with us.
God, once again has been working in a amazing ways.
(stories to come)

Friday, 18 November 2011

italy!

krista's wonderful picture for our creation drama


book table and distribution


our new friends from the church

kwanga singing for us


preparing for international night - pumpkin pie (from scratch)


our countries "traditional" dishes


we love you guys and will miss you!


God is good - all the time

I went to Italy for a 2 week outreach with very little idea about what I would be doing. I had questions about how God would use me and how effective my time would be. I didn’t know the language or the culture, and I certainly knew nothing about the ministry of the church we were to work with. But I trusted God, because He knows I want to serve Him and He wants to use me to bring glory to Himself.
On Friday morning I went with 2 girls from the local church to the university where they are studying. We went armed with a small table, evangelistic literature and the desire to share the Good News. God gave me amazing opportunities. I met some students who spoke English. They were so warm and friendly and were genuinely interested in me and the message I had to share. As we were leaving they asked to see us again and we jumped at the chance.
The following Thursday the 2 girls and I met 3 of the students for coffee. We some spent time laughing and getting to know each other a little more before turning the conversation to the real reason we had come to meet them. I knew that I would probably never see them again and I had a burning desire for them to hear and understand the Gospel. As they were conversing in Italian I looked around me and had an idea to use the things on the table to help explain the Gospel to them. Starting with creation, I began to share with them God’s love for mankind and the coming judgement. I used the napkin holder to represent God (it was the biggest thing on the table) and various other items to help them understand.
It was such a privilege to have that opportunity. One of the girls translated for me and the 3 students listened intently and asked questions about things they disagreed with. I could see that they were really considering what they heard.
One of the students wants to know more. He has arranged to study the Bible with the girls! While this may be quite ‘normal’ in the country I come from, it is not in Italy. This is a miraculous answer to prayer, praise God! Another student we met also expressed the desire to study the Bible. Again, praise God! Please pray for these 2 young men, and also for the girls, that they would have sufficient courage and wisdom.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

changed heart

We had the most amazing time in italy. This is one of many stories of how God blessed us and our conversations.
We were privilidged to be able to work with 4 of the girls from the church who took us into their universities to have book tables and just chat with the students.
The first time we went into the university there was a class of international students’ who didnt speak any Italian, which as you can imagine was perfect. At the end of the class I was able to talk to one of the guys in the class. This man at first wasn’t interested in taking a gospel tract as he was an atheist. However throughout the conversation God changed His heart as I told him the gospel. We spoke about why there was sin in the world and what God had done to fix it. The confidence the man once had in his belief was stripped from him as God broke down the barriers of what he once thought was true. At the end of the conversation I was able to give him a bible as he asked me which one he should read and which one was the truth. I told him to pray that God would reveal himself to him. It was amazing to see this man go from completely against the idea of there being God to wanting a bible to read and considering the idea of praying to Him, praise God.
Please continue to pray for this man.

Ooooh LA LA!

Finally in Paris! 

We arrived Friday night after an AMAZING 3 weeks in ITALY.  Our time there was definitely encouraging and each of us left with a renewed outlook.  The youth and local church were incredible.  They were with us each step of the way as we worked on outreach.  More stories to come! 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

As we drive along the bumpy roads of North Croatia, we see children run alongside our van just as one would see in the movies. These children are so excited to see their faithful friend, Patricia - a lady who lives and breathes the grace of God as she visits these children in the Roma camps weekly. There are 700 children in one village - more than half the population of that village.

Little curious faces watch us as we pull up, wondering what these strange people are doing in their village. As soon as we get out of the van with a soccer ball, the boys are ready to play. Little girls carry their baby sisters around, taking as good care of them as possible. They flock to the camera and laugh gleefully as their photos are taken. For many, it is the first time they have been able to see their gorgeous little faces.
Sharing God’s love with these children who are so quickly neglected by others was a wonderful experience. We told them Bible stories and much to their joy, sang a song in their language. The smiles on their faces filled us with a sadness as we realised that they had nothing - not even the most important thing, Jesus Christ - in their hearts.


Our hearts break for these children who just want to be loved and cared for. More than anything they need to know that God loves them, that they have a hope - something that is so much more than this world can offer, something that will last. That they have a Father that loves them perfectly. Just how they are.
Not being able to speak their language was one of the hardest things but showed us all the importance of showing love through actions (1 John  3:18)

How powerful God’s love is. It knows no bounds. No language barrier will stop His love from penetrating through to the heart. What a big and glorious God we have. What a big and important job we have.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Proclaiming the Word from the Mountain Tops!

Webster's dictionary defines Croatia as: an independent country SE Europe; a constituent republic of Yugoslavia 1946–91 comprising Croatia, Slavonia, & most of Istria & the Dalmatian coast Zagreb area21,829 square miles (56,537 square kilometers), pop 4,437,460. OM Europe's Transit Team defines Croatia as: beautiful, sea, hot, holidays and mountains. As you can see we all have different opinions but there is one thing we all agree on-CROATIA NEEDS GOD!

It has been amazing to see how God wants to use us here in Croatia. Every morning at 6:30 A.M. sharp we hike up to the top of a mountain that looks over Split. To see God's creation with the sun rising over the city is breathtaking. We want to share with you a few stories on how God is using our team. Here's Carrie's story.

We have been looking at the prayer life of Jesus and how often he went up the mountain to pray. Most times he wanted to be alone. One day I decided to stay at the top to do my daily devotions. I was sitting on the edge looking out into the city when a lady approached me. She said to me seven simple words, "Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?" I was completely blown away that 1. a Croat approached ME first and 2. asked me about Jesus. I managed to get out "WHY YES I AM!!" (probably a little to excited) From that point on the conversation was nothing but questions and answers. God gave me the opportunity to present the gospel and pray with her. Praise the Lord! I saw her a couple more times throughout the week and a relationship was built. How amazing is our God!


Please continue to pray for our team and our time here in Croatia. All the Glory be to GOD!

Friday, 14 October 2011

PRAYER REQUEST

This week we have been having lectures on Evolution vs. Creation. Dr. Charles Jackson, a Professor from the United States, is leading these seminars. We want to ask for prayer from all of our follwers around the world as tonight is the last night of the lectures. As you can imagine, there are not many creationist in the crowd. Please pray for physical and spiritual safety for Dr. J, that the evolutionist's hearts would be open, and that God would reveal himself to these lost people.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Quick Update

Well...it has been awhile! We do not have internet where we are staying-sorry! We have been very busy by starting our days off climbing a mountain and working on a Christian book store during the day. God blessed us with the great opportunity to go to Germany for the weekend. While there we attended a mission conference where George Verwer was the speaker. What a blessing it was to hear him preach. On the way home we stopped for two days to work in the Gypsy villages. It was amazing to show those children God's love. We are so excited to write more updates about our time here in Croatia and our many travels.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

CROATIA!


We finally arrived safely in Croatia.  It's gorgeous. We are so blessed and more than thankful to be serving God here!!!



Our view every morning on our way to the mountain.  At the top we pray over the city and have a devotion.
We have started doing practical working- helping out the local church ministry bookstore.  Jaco, Sara, and Anna working hard.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


Our 3 day journey to Croatia began bright and early this morning. Kudos to the boys on packing that luggage.



 We have just arrived Safely in Belgium.  Keep us in your prayers, as we have a long journey ahead tomorrow.




PEACE, LOVE, JESUS! <3



Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Art is a Universal Language

Sweden was the first place where we were faced with a language barrier. The first few days were frustrating for the team as we had to rely on a handful of translators to help us communicate. As an artist, I knew I (Krista) had to get creative.  God spoke to me. Simply, yet powerfully. Draw a picture. Everyone in the world understands a picture. Art is a common language no matter where you are from. I took that message and ran with it.

Four points

While visiting a church near London (United Kingdom), I had met a man with four pins on his hat. These four pins included:
  1. a heart = God loves us
  2. an "X" = We all have sinned
  3. a cross = Jesus died for us
  4. a question mark "?" = Do you want a relationship with God?

( Entered information in journal as the man explained each symbol to me. )

Remembering this short, yet powerful message, I asked a translator to teach me these four phrases in Swedish. Although I would not be able to have a full conversation or answer all their questions, I could at least be able to tell the most important story in the world. Then I drew these four symbols boldly on my arm like a tattoo, in the hope that people would notice and initiate a conversation with.






When I shared this idea with the team, Carrie, Anna and Sara also drew the symbols on their arms. On a bus ride, Quentin asked loudly, "Krista, what is that on your arm?" I began to explain in English, he asked if I could say it in Swedish. This caught the attention (and amusement) of the other passengers as they listened to my poor Swedish, and many listened carefully to work out what I was trying to say! We started using that little role-play in many other places and opportunities.

 

Flowing with God's joy

As Ramadan ended on our last Friday night in Sweden, we decided to organize a Pancake Night at the town square. Free pancakes, coffee, tea and live music would be a great way to gather a crowd. Usually, Anna and I are the designated face painters in community outreach events, but as the Pancake Night was from 9pm to midnight, I had to find another way to initiate conversation.
Finding a few pieces of paper, a marker and two highlighters in my backpack, I began drawing the scene around me. The team was glowing with the joy of God, and it was like we were in a bubble of peace, safety and happiness. My first picture was of Sara serving the best pancakes I have ever eaten, while Du was playing guitar... everything was perfect. I used the highlighters to express the joy and Holy Spirit flowing out of them. As I continued to draw, onlookers asked why I was outlining the figures with glowing light. I told them it was the love and happiness we had from Jesus. When people asked if they could buy the pictures, I told them they could have the pictures for free, if only they listened to a short story.  I drew the "Four Points" symbols next to my signature on each picture. As Carrie started sharing the Four Points story, crowds of Muslims started gathering around.



( \First street sketch- Sara and Du. )

Great expectations

Carrie did a great job of being bold and sharing the word, and using her genuine and friendly spirit as a living example of Christ. Each team member played a major role in speaking to people and serving the community that night. We will take our new knowledge and use it at our next stop. God's work is always greater than our expectations. We won't let anything slow us down! God always has an answer, and he has everything under control!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Gud älskar oss

Here we are in good ole Sweden, it's a beautiful country that is in need
of Jesus. As you walk down the streets you can feel the emptiness of the
country. We are working with two churches here that have taken us in and
loved us. Some of the ministries we have been involved in is: kids and
youth clubs, a book table and any other church ministries.

Our first night in Sweden we had to travel twenty minutes or so to a
meeting a town over. Along the way we hit some road blocks. It was
raining, we got lost, the map was difficult to read, then our group got
separated. We had one map-so the group without a map was lost. The
adventure of Jaco, Anna, Krista an Sara starts here. We didn't know where
we were going but we decided that we would try to find the church. Since
we were lost we thought 'why not prayer walk' so off we went on our
prayer walk. While we were praying we saw this girl and asked her for
directions. She started talking with us and told us her name, lets call
her Judy. She is Swedish but has Kurdish background, seventeen and a
Muslim. As we were chatting with her we found out that she attended
church sometimes. Her mom has two bibles and that she is very friendly
and open to the gospel. Sara then asked her if she needed prayer for
anything and to our amazement she said 'YES.' She told us to prayer for
her family who was going through a very difficult time. When we finished
she told us that her heart felt flooded. We encouraged her to read the
book of Luke and pray to Jesus. We felt that even though we got lost and
our friends were worried about us, that the Lord sent us there to meet
her ' Divine Appointment'.
Yesterday was the kids club! We were all so excited to go to the park and
share with the children the Gospel. We did some face painting, games and
had a pretty cool clown to attract the kids. When it was time to start
the programme we only had about six kids. We didn't know what to expect
but we were like "Okay, Lord, please bring more children." We don't
mind sharing the gospel with six kids but we want more to hear about You.
Then to our amazement the parents started joining us with their kids. All
 these women are from Iran, Somali, Russia, India, Kurds and all of them
are muslims, or have some type of muslim background. In total we must
have had about thirty moms and kids together. They stayed for the whole
program and they told us that they enjoyed everything! We thank God so
much for bringing and keeping them through the whole show, that they got
the opportunity to hear he gospel and that afterwards they were asking
questions. We know that the seed that was planted in them and that God
will continue to water that seed!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Moving On and Praising God



After St Ives we went to OM Lifehope in England, for training. We spent the time at the base doing team building exercises, studied different religions, figured out our personalities and how we work as a team. We also went out into the community and did some ministry, including a book table and handing out tracts. We got the privilege of going to Quinta, England to learn presentation skills, as well as being able to go to WALES!


During our time at the base we got the opportunity to go and visit a church of a couple we met in St Ives. What a wonderful day! Some members of the church made lunch for us and completely spoiled us the whole day. The church welcomed us with open arms and hearts. We talked, sang, and shared with them what God has been during through our team over the last couple of weeks. God blessed us amazingly! After church, we went back to the couples home for dinner. We enjoyed a great game of golf and danced in the kitchen with the ladies. It was an incredible day and we thank God for putting them in our path. We were truly blessed that day!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

more photos from st ives.

just hanging out
getting ready for the kids club
Carrie and Anna telling a story to the kids
Sungkwang singing sons with the children
PRESENTING... THE ONE AND ONLY BEAUTIFUL ST. IVES!

It's like living in a postcard.




The Harbor



Picnic

The first night that we met the youth! (and we have LOVED them ever since.)


Quentin telling a bible story to the children.
We had fun visiting and singing at the nursing home.
Krista face painting for kids club at the church!

Our First Grand God Story!

God has been revealing himself in many miraculous ways...
This is Quentin's story:


On our last night in St. Ives, God did some amazing things. Here is just one of them:

On this particular Saturday night, the church we were partnering with was holding a musical production about the life of Simon Peter. Our team was helping out with various things during the night. I was welcoming people at the front door. During the production a man named Bob wandered in, drawn by the music that was floating out on to the street.
He came in, sat down and watched the musical unfold. Most of it was singing, with some acting and reading of the Bible. At some point Bob got up and left, and as he was leaving I was able to talk to him. He began to tell me many different things. He told me about his guilt in life and how he was struggling with many things, but also how he had felt a strange peace as he sat in the church. He told me he had cried while he was watching and something had really touched his heart.
As the conversation unfolded, I realised there was something very wrong with this man. He began to say very aggressive and demonic things. At points he was saying something was inside him making him do evil things. I told him that God could help him and that Jesus Christ had power and authority over satan and demons.  He began mocking me, getting very close to me and acting very aggressively.
I guided Bob a short distance away from the church, and began to pray for him. As I was praying for him, a team member and also a man from the church ‘appeared’. Talking to them later about why they came to that place at that time, the only explanation was that God miraculously directed them.
As the three of us prayed for Bob, God freed him from the evil spirit living in him! It was a very, very intense experience. We could hear the evil spirit, a horrible sound, and Bob was very violent as we held him and prayed in the name of Jesus Christ.
Then there was peace. Bob lay face down on the pavement and all strength left him. We continued to pray and after some time Bob got up, a completely different man. He was hugging and kissing us, in utter amazement at the feeling he was experiencing. He described feeling light and completely free. We spent some more time with him, trying to explain what had happened and the message of the Gospel. I left him with a gospel tract and we got his details from him in order that the church could follow him up.
 Please praise God for his mercy. Please pray that Bob would be protected from the powers of evil and would come to trust in Him who set him free that night, and Him who has set us free from sin, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Friday, 15 July 2011

St Ives

St. Ives, what a great place to start. Getting trained and using the training practically has been great for the team. We as a team have been able to see how we can use our different gifts in ministry, what a blessing that has been. The church has welcomed us with open arms to make us feel right at home.

Some of the ways that we have been able to help the church out has been through kids clubs and school assemblies. We have also had the opportunity to talk to people in or around there homes and share with them the Word of God. We are looking forward to doing BBQ on the beach, kids club, visiting schools, and an international night. Our team has bonded with the youth of St. Ives and were really excited to see them get on fire for the Lord. God is truly showing us his grace and mercy!

When in Rome

Our first night together as a team.  We bonded over gelato :)
Hanging out at the Transform conference.




We ate A LOT of pasta.



Team time.


We got a day to explore/get lost.  BUT we had time to see a few amazing sites.


Worshiping on the streets of Rome. 
No worlds can describe how perfect life was at this moment.




Bewildered at the train station.


  On the road again.  Next stop, St. Ives!!!