It is absolutely incredible how fast time has flown. It feels like yesterday I stepped off the plane to embrace this new adventure in London. Now, as I reflect back on all of my experiences this semester, the ones that stick out are the opportunities God gave me to be a part of His ministry. Several of the girls studying at Roehampton became involved with Connect UK, a student church that meets in Kingston-Upon-Thames. I had opportunities to lead worship, teach a Bible lesson, and build wonderful friendships. I received great discipleship and mentoring from the Goodmans, a missionary couple with the IMB that lead the ministry. I am so thankful to have been a part of this ministry that reaches out to students at Kingston University and shares the love of Jesus and the Gospel message with them. Many non-Christians attend the weekly service, which led to great conversations and discussions. The time I spent with the Kingston youth will always be a highlight of my time in London. Helping set up for the service and tearing down after was a great time of serving alongside fellow Christians here in Britain. Being a part of this ministry transformed my way of viewing Christians from other countries. God’s Spirit is moving powerfully in the lives of many people here as they pray for revival in this country.
While I was there, we saw at least one student come to Christ, which was such a wonderful experience! Many others have taken first steps and have become more open to the Spirit’s call on their lives.
Another impacting ministry experience came unexpectedly to me while I was on holiday (vacation), traveling around Europe. I stopped to visit my family in Berlin, who have been missionaries there for the past ten years. My aunt organizes a ministry called Alabaster Jar, which ministers to prostitutes on the streets of Berlin. Prostitution is legal in Germany and most of the women are victims of human trafficking from neighboring counties. The night we arrived, she invited my friend and I to go out on the streets with her and prayer-walk behind the team. We also made coffee mugs with ‘John 3:16’ written in different languages (either Hungarian, Polish, or Romanian) to give to the women. My aunt runs a lovely café that provides the women a place to rest and free food and coffee/tea. The other half of the ministry team goes to the streets and brings the women coffee/tea and biscuits, as well as Christian literature in their native language. They have built up relationships with most of the women, and all of them look forward to a visit from the “Angels with Baskets” on the cold winter streets at night. We walked those streets for several hours, praying as the team witnessed, laughed, and shared with the prostitutes. I was overwhelmed as I caught glimpses of the despair on their faces. I began to question the direction my life is taking. Can I really just sit back with a comfy teaching job while people are suffering like this? I was moved to compassion as I was able to talk and laugh with some of the women in the café.
I will never forget one of the women I met, she was older than most of the others, probably in her forties. She loved having her picture taken so we took lots of pictures together and she showed them off to everyone else. She had such a wonderful smile on her face, which made me realize that these women are not hopeless, they can still find happiness in Jesus Christ and His saving grace. I was forever changed by my experience that night and I thank God for giving me so many opportunities to be a part of His ministry here on earth.
Nicole S., Palm Beach Atlantic University, Veritas in London 2013