They’re watching. Everywhere I go they look at me with curious eyes. When you walk through town in Sisak, Croatia wearing a shirt covered in crosses accompanied by cowboy boots, you get some looks. They constantly ask “what are you doing here,” “you want to move here… from America?!” or my personal favorite “why are you wearing those boots?!”
I know I look different, and I admit some of my differences are intentional. I want to make people wonder why I am here so that I can have a chance to share the Gospel with them, to show them that getting out of Sisak will not be the end of their problems, and to offer hope. The differences allow me to reach people who are curious.
Being different got me thinking.
Why aren’t all Christians seen as different? Why can’t people tell when a person has Jesus in their life? Why is there no change when people choose to follow Christ? Where is the radical love that Jesus shows us? Why don’t we display that love to others?
People notice differences. They don’t understand why we’re different. Let me challenge you to be different than “the normal ones.” Be the one who will go out of their way to be different so people ask why. I guarantee it will change your perspective and give you unique opportunities and testimonies.
Last week I got the privilege of leading a drama camp with HisPrint Ministries. The drama was a depiction of people giving their problems to Jesus. The background song was “You are More” by Tenth Avenue North. The beginning of the skit had a crucifixion scene. As the leader, I was in charge of making all the props. When I began to paint blood onto the cross and splatter paint Jesus’s toga, I was overcome by solemn gratitude and amazement. I understood in a new way the extreme pain Jesus experienced. As we drilled holes in the cross where the nails would go, I imagined those nails going into a hand. While I was painting the shirt I thought about the crucifixion process I grimaced at the pain Jesus gladly took for us. Not only did we have a cross, nails, and hammers, but we had a crown of thorns too. Even picking up the crown in the wrong way was painful, and I can’t imagine having it driven into my head. Jesus looked at my imperfections and CHOSE to die a brutal death for me. He didn’t have to do anything for me, but he wanted to because he loves me.
The drama camp went better than I could have ever imagined, and I know at that even if nobody else was moved, I was.
I have back to back camps for 5 weeks! This week I am at a camp on the Coast of Croatia called Ćinta! It is gorgeous and I cannot get enough of the stars, sunsets, and blue blue water. At Ćinta we are leading a VBS, and today was the first day of programs. The kids are still getting used to the daily routine, however they will get it in time. It is so exciting to see their sweet faces light up with excitement even when I have absolutely no idea what is being said, or what is going on.
It is so difficult being surrounded by Croatian language knowing that I cannot understand. Being the only one who doesn’t understand is more frustrating than I can explain. Sometimes I just sit for long periods of time and listen. It is so frustrating not being able to listen to conversations and understand what they are saying. I really need prayer for peace, because I am so angry with my inability to fluently understand and speak Croatian. Additionally, please pray for my health and rest as I am in camps.