We were sitting in the simple office that we use for meetings. Each of the chairs brings back memories. This is where we usually sit and talk to young men and women who come desperately needing help. Distressed, unable to even look us in the eye. At the end of their rope. Addiction seems like a life sentence.
Jana could not sit still, his feet kept moving, hands in and out of his pockets. It was as if he was waiting for a late train that would take him somewhere, anywhere, out of the hell that he was in. Already close to 40, addicted to drugs and alcohol for most of his life, he gave us a fairy-tale story about how he used to be someone special.
We stepped out of the office for a minute, for a quick consultation. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Why bother… he will let us, me, down. It does not look like a good investment… it is too complicated.” My husband said, “I can see him change.” The brief hallway meeting was over in seconds. We entered back into the office and extended our hands to him; he could not look us in the eye. We took a step of faith—the same step we did, and do, with hundreds like Jana.
God met Jana and started changing him day by day. Jesus lifted his head, gave him a smile, allowed him to smell the beauty of spring, and restored his desire to write and sing songs. He now worships with people in church, speaks openly on radio and television, and uses every opportunity to testify.
Jana said, “I had my own bed in a psychiatric hospital, and I was there almost 20 times. Each time I got out I was worse. My family and friends did not want anything to do with me. Through God, I have a new life, a home, a wife, and a child. I have hope, a family, and a purpose!”
When I see him lead worship, talking about the love of Christ which transforms lives, I worship too. When I worship I am reminded that I almost did not want to bother because the Enemy does not want us to bother with tasks that appear too hard. When I have another “why bother” moment, I sit in that empty office for a few minutes and reflect on the people that sat in those chairs, and I remember their transformed lives. Where would Jana be, right now, had we not extended our hands— had we not allowed Christ to do what only He can do?
Vera and her husband, Danny, are international workers (IWs). They were both born, raised, and married in Serbia. They immigrated to Canada in their first year of marriage, where they had their four children. In 1986 they were called, by God, back to Serbia to serve the Serbians. They have led refugees, people living in poverty, and those without hope to Jesus. Learn more at cmacan.org/dvk