I returned to Bratislava to meet with a missionary here. However I had gotten in touch with her late, and her village is 6 hours away by bus, so that meeting didn’t happen. But I did manage to meet with one of our new Slovak friends, Zuzana (see Kebap Shop Breakfast (part 2 of the double post, titled Sweet Slovakia) and Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem). Zuzana came with us to Budapest and also to Vienna to pray in those capitals. When she returned from Budapest, her boss told her that she was fired, no explanation given. Of course she was very upset at first, but Pastor Ivan’s daughter had already offered her a housecleaning job, so she decided not to let it get her down. Ministry carries a price tag. Jesus told us repeatedly that we will have to leave our homes, our families, and that we must count the cost. For someone so young (20), Zuzana is surprisingly mature.
So I met with Zuzana, and she took me for a walk in the park behind the Presidential Palace. It is a lovely park with flowers and wide paths. She said that Pastor Ivan’s daughter is from his first marriage, and she is not saved. She said that Pastor Ivan wants her to share her faith with his daughter. She admitted that she feels some pressure about this. I told her about my 3-point method of sharing my faith:
- I was . . .
- Everybody has their own unique story of their life B.C. (before Christ)
- Then Jesus changed my life
- Usually the smile on your face is enough to convince people of the change inside
- Would you like to know Jesus?
Simple and easy, you don’t have to be an expert in theology or to know the Bible inside and out. People don’t care about those things. All they want to know is that Jesus is real. They want to know what Jesus can do for them. And nobody can argue with you about your experience because it happened to you. They might not respond the way you hope, but sometimes the seed planted today will begin to grow next year.
Then I told her about my conversion and re-conversion (see Gotcha! and Gotcha! Part 2), and the suicidal depression I had endured. Zuzana then told me her story. She had also been suicidally depressed, with demonic apparitions. To look at the 2 of us, you would never imagine that either of us were so down. So I said, just tell her what Jesus has done for you. God will give you the right time to talk with her about it.
Uniformed Guards at the Presidential Palace
Then we walked back to town, to her favorite coffee shop. Zuzana told me about one time when she had been reading her Bible there and God showed her that the woman next to her was crying. The Holy Spirit told Zuzana: “Tell her that I love her, and that she is precious to Me.” So she did. The woman was startled and resistant at first, but then listened as Zuzana told her about the wonderful love of Jesus. As we found our seats in the coffee shop, she said, “And she was sitting right there.” I turned and looked where she pointed, and said, “Right there? Where Anushka is sitting?” And we began laughing like maniacs because we had not expected to meet her there in the coffee shop. Anushka (see double post Sweet Slovakia and Kebap Shop Breakfast) was sitting there writing on her laptop. She looked up when she heard the laughter, so we told her about Zuzana’s story and how she had pointed right there without realizing that Anushka was there.
So I got another chance to say goodbye to Anushka, and I had a lovely visit with Zuzana, and was able to encourage her. Zuzana will probably be joining us on our next trip, to Ukraine and Belarus. She will be useful in both of those places as a translator. God is good!