Thursday, August 31, 2006

Amsterdam: We are GOING BACK

REPORT: We will be returning to Amsterdam with a Raven Team next Summer (July or early August) and would love for you to join us. We are expecting to take at least 40 from the states and then connect with another 40 or so from Europe for a week of storming the strongholds of the enemy and taking back all that he has stolen! Pray and consider being a part of a history making opportunity. I will have detailed information in the coming months so that you can make plans early to be with the Team.
I was so blessed this past Spring when I visited my friend, Pastor Frank Gresham's church. While in services that Sunday at the Jesus Centre he announced that a team would be traveling to minister on the streets of Amsterdam in August if anyone desired to go with them.
I immediately knew that I was to join them on this international outreach--and later Melanie told me, "I felt that you would be going with them as soon as it was announced." The "Team" that went included those that had been to the city on other occassions: Pastor Frank, Capt. John, and Nancy Alonzo (of New Orleans) and three of us who would be traveling to XXX City for the first time: Myself, Sharon and Audrey.
We arrived at the Orlando International Airport seperately and I made my way to the ticket counter ahead of the remainder of the team. Upon being called up to the ticket agent I was advised that my flight to Amsterdam had been cancelled and I would be booked on another airline that was actually leaving earlier that the original flight. They would be giving me a $200 voucher for future travel and there would be no additional interruptions.
As Pastor Frank and the team made their way to through the line I advised them that we would all be changing planes and that they were alos compensating us for the trouble involved. I went off to the new airlines counter to get checked in...but the team never arrived! I ended up making my way to the gate area to await our departure and found the team already there---waiting to board the FIRST plane that was supposedly cancelled!
They told me that the first plane was never cancelled---just overbooked---so the airline had to divert a number of passengers elsewhere! That elswhere ended up being Dusseldorf, Germany for 1/2 of the day upon my arrival in Europe! I took in in stride and just chalked it up for another opportunity to share Jesus in the nation of my dad's great-grandparents.
Upon arriving in Dusseldorf I was able to spend several hours sharing Jesus and giving testimony to the other people waiting in the airport and took full advantage of the captive audience that had been presented to me! Pastor Frank and John met me later at the Amsterdam airport to connect with the team for a night of ministry in the Red Light District.

This city is ripe for revival! I immediately got a "vision for this place" and spent our off-hours walking throught the streets and asking God for His heart for this trip and for future missions into this land largely devoid of Christianity. It was almost like a "recon" mission to gather the necessary information to bring in the "invasion force" at a later time. I discovered that in this City of unplowed fields--that the resistence to the Gospel message is nothing like it is in the United States. Here most people have never heard the Gosple of the Cross! They have not been spiritually innoculated to the point of being "resistant" to the genuine article. It was refreshing to be able to take a person from "The beginning to the end of God's plan for man" right there on the streets!

This was no "shotgun" salvation weekend--this was New Testament styled ministry that demanded the manifestation of this text: 1 Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" The team was amazing in taking people from the "promise to the prize" right in the midst of this wickedness!

From contending with those brought up in the pseudo-faith of Islam to "birthright" Catholics who had never personally stepped foot in a church building, to those who exposure to Jesus has been limited to casual obeservations of Hollywood productions--we had then all---and had an incredible time of bringing them to the knowledge of the truth of God's Holy Word!

Before you ask, I'll tell you: The "women" picutred above are not "women" at all, but rather men who have mutilated themselves and have been given over to vile affections. Because things such as prostitution and smoking marijuana are not against the law in Amsterdam--there is not the "crime" or "violent" association with them that is prevailent in the US. These men and women are put on display like furniture for sale behind windows along the streets. The "red" lights indicate woman (mostly young girls) and the "blue/purple" lights as see above indicate transvestites.

We literally spent night after night just outside of these brothels witnessing to people on the streets and to the men who would go in and out of them! My heart was broken as I thought about the fact that these girls are someone's daughter, niece, sister or friend--who has been caught up in this practice that always produces a destructive end. Pray for these girls because I found out that many of them are acutally "sex slaves" who have come from other countries and do not have any way out---apart from a miracle of God.

Trust me--none of the things in the Red Light District of Amsterdam are about drugs, sex or alcohol---they are about SIN, plain and simple and it's destructive and damning power over all who have not believed. Someone has got to be a light shining in the darkness. Jesus died for them too.

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