Two years ago I was invited to go to the NGLC conference. I had been serving God for many years…
Soon after the communism fell in my country, in 1993 I opened my heart to Jesus and immediately felt His calling. I followed. Lots of ministries done, many friendships made and growth in God as He led and led every day. He still does. Every single day.
It is hard to follow God in a country where your family is a non-practicing Muslim family and about 99 % of the population doesn’t want to know Jesus. But God just keeps persisting. He doesn’t know how to stop loving. And the ministry kept flourishing.
Two years ago, I found myself at a crossroad. I had great ministry possibilities. If I pushed hard, I knew it would be easy to be a professional career Christian. I could start a new church plant at any time and knew many people would follow.
But, after serving 8 years with the staff of my church, God made it clear to move. But where? It is hard to change. And we usually don’t like change.
It was at this time that I was invited to go to the NGLC conference. I didn’t have many expectations. I usually try not to have many so that God can do what he wants to do.
And He did overwhelm me. Again! But differently. He convinced me to move out of my safe ministry options.
Me and my wife had been praying about a food bank in my country. And while being at NGLC, God made it clear that we were to open a food bank. The first ever in my country. We had no funding, no supporting people, no experience in the social field. It was us and another Christian couple from Holland with the same desire.
My father told me to find a job and let this idea go. My Christian friends and the church’s leadership were skeptical bout the idea. I mean…the church leaders are usually never skeptical about new ministry start-ups. If they are skeptical, then it really must be a bad idea.
But we started it anyways. Today it is a blast. We meet ministers and state officials regularly. We are contributing to change the laws of the country. We are feeding thousands of people. They put us on magazines and TV stations ask for interviews.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. Success is to be where God wants us to be. Whether visible or not, whether a public Peter the Rock or a humble Timothy. But the above are encouraging us to keep building the food bank here. Others do things for many reasons. But we do what we do for the glory of God. And many people here have seen the evangelical community shine their light and people have seen the good deeds and glorified God (Matthew 5:16).
It was at NGLC where God convinced me to not be afraid to start Food Bank A. It provided the safe place to get away and focus, a place to connect with God anew.
I don’t know what your story is, where you are coming from or where you are going. (I am reminded of the song “Write your story” from Francesca Battistelli). But, we are called to allow God to write His story in our lives.
So, I encourage you to come to the NGLC conference. It is an open and loving place. A community with those who come from all over the world, yet feel at home.