Thursday, August 31, 2006

Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I saw Steven Wiegman standing near the entrance to the courtyard where the team was seated. He was on duty as a temporary "cleaner" for the hostel in which we were staying, but you could tell that he was more interested in the worship music that Pastor Frank was playing on his guitar than anything else that he was doing. I thought about excusing myself from the table and going over to invite him to join us, but before I could he had drifted back into the building to continue his chores.
Up to that point, Steven was just one of the many new faces that I had encountered on the first day of my journey across the Globe to a place called Amsterdam. Later that evening as our team set up the "cross" on the bridge in the middle of the Red Light District, our paths would intercect once more with a more deliberate outcome.
I knew absolutely nothing of this man's testimony when he joined me on that span surrounded by drugs, prostitution and alcoholism. Little did I know that this was "his life" just a couple of months prior to oour meeting. He had ran these streets and had been a player in both the drug and prostitution industry.
Our conversation that night was not about his past though---but about his future: a future of power, truth, and victory. I shared with him my testimony of being filled with the Holy Spirit and being "endued with power from on high to be a witness." I shared with him how Jesus promised to send us a "Comforter--the Holy Spirit" who would us into all truth as well as give us the strength to overcome and serve our Lord with all of our hearts.
This was what he had been searching for, and there above the murky canal a well spring sprung up in the soul of this man as he received the promise of the Father! Over the next few days we would spend several hours together, sharing testimonies, breaking bread together, and discussing the Word of Truth.
The following is Steven's testimony in his own words:
Steven Weigman (37) never believed in God. He believed only in himself. Working in several European countries as a DJ to serve as a cover for his acts of fraud, drug dealing, and prostitution--this "dead end" would eventually lead him to God.
The first time that I everthought about my sins was after I quit with several dark activities and ended up on the streets without money. Because of the season, all of the Hotels were fully booked--except for the Shelter Jordan Hostel where there was one bed available!
My social money was not scheduled to be in my account for four days, but the receptionist miraculously lent me the money himself! Politely, I listened to his story--but had no intention of ever paying him back. He passionately told me the story of God Almighty (that is what he called "His God"---God ALMIGHTY) which took away my argument as to who might have created his God.
The receptionist introduced himself as Ryan Fishel of Las Vegas, Nevada USA. I began a conversation concerning the casinos because gambling was one the sins that I felt would keep me from ever coming to God. He told me of Adam and Eve making the wrong decision and of sin coming into the world.
Ryan shared that "all had sinned" but here was one solution. God had sent His only Son to this earth to die for us and if we would repent and put our faith in Him--we would be saved. This sounded too easy to me--but I just couldn't come up with any arguments concerning what he had told me. Rayn prayed for me and then I went to bed.
Laying there in bed I wondered what anyone would help me. I would have never done so. I suddenly realizedthat I had always been a bad person and out of curiosity, I started to read the Bible for myself. I also decided that I was going to pay Ryan back the money that he lent me.
My last day in the Shelter I was reading the Bible and was thiking about what I would do for the next two days without any money. I felt really bad and said to God, "What should I do now?" I looked up after saying that and noticed that there was a sign shich said they were looking for a cleaner in the Shelter.
I have now spent two months working at the Shelter and the young volunteer Christians have changed my mind regarding how I think about Christianity. Because of their compassion I began to see the Bible as more than just a book. Each time I would open the Bible to read a page or chapter--my questions would be answered!
It is clear that I have a lot to make up for with God and my family, and with the people I have always used. I havea feeling that I should help people in need and open up a home for them to have a safe place to be while sorting out their lives. They could see how God has changed my life! I don't know how it will happen, that's God's responsibility--I can only pray for that and hope.

I gave Steven a RAVEN shirt and he immediately went and put it on. To me it was just a shirt--but to him it represented being a part of something that represented Jesus. Looking at him I thought of other men who have "come up through the ranks" over the years and are now powerful men of faith and dynamic preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Men like Pastor Alex Hill, Pastor Thomas Derrick and Pastor Todd Bohn. These men too found themselves desperate and without hope---until the mercy and grace of God showed up!

Steven wants to be a part of Raven Europe and to continue his discipleship and growth in Jesus. Please be praying for him. In the top picture I captured him out witnessing to a man just outside of the hostel. I could hear his voice from my third floor window and leaned out to discover him sharing Jesus Christ! That is what its all about!

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