An Unexpected Response in Serbia
“So how many are they expecting at this one?”
Speed-walking through the hallway of the Serbian shopping mall, I shifted my guitar case in my hand and cocked my head to hear our guide’s response without slowing my pace.
“They’ve been telling us to expect about 70 young people this afternoon.”
“Awesome! And we’re late, so we should have a full house waiting for us…”
“Yes, we should hurry.”
Moving quickly, we rounded the corner and practically knocked into our destination – a pizza restaurant on the lowest floor of the mall.
Approximately 7 young people were sitting in awkward silence. Waiting for us.
Not exactly what we were expecting.
“Is this it?” I glanced over at our guide.
He nodded once – a short, tight-lipped tip of the head in my direction.
“Okay,” I returned the gesture, “Well lets do this – whether there are many or a few, right?”
It had been a packed week – several shows a day in several different countries – sometimes 20 people in a smoky rural diner, sometimes hundreds in a crowded nightclub. Every crowd had been different, and every event had surprised us in some way. This was just another unexpected twist.
I turned towards the door.
“Hey one thing before we do this…” our speaker for the night, Reid Saunders, put a hand on my arm.
“Let’s take a second and pray for the night, okay?” he paused, addressing the group, “I know we were expecting more people tonight, but every single person counts – this could be life or death for someone who needs to hear about Jesus tonight.”
He was absolutely right, and I knew it – I’m forever grateful for the people that spent hours sharing the love of Jesus with me when I was a hurting, depressed teenager, and my life will never be the same because of their faithfulness.
So we prayed, and then entered the room together. We declined the offer of a distorted-sounding microphone and played a few songs unplugged, and then Reid spoke.
He shared about our need for forgiveness and the love and freedom available through Jesus – he told the story of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us, and the opportunity to receive new life by responding to Him.
And the seven young people listened intently.
But so did the young man behind the counter – an employee of the restaurant with prominent tattoos and sincere eyes.
And when it was time to respond, and several of the teenagers raised their hands and bowed their heads to pray with Reid, the young man behind the counter raised his hand as well.
And bowed his head.
And said “yes” to Jesus.
Afterwards, we talked with the young man. He was excited about his decision – completely unashamed about his choice to follow Christ, and we knew without question that the afternoon had been worth it.
And this is why we do what we do.WANT TO PARTNER WITH US IN OUR MISSION TO SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS WORLDWIDE? CLICK HERE!
30 shows, 3 countries, 11 days: from smoky restaurant back rooms with thirty people to strobe-lit cruise-ship-like nightclubs holding hundreds to dusty courtyards of refugee camps – we got to experience a corner of Eastern Europe in a crazy way.
And at the end of it all, we looked back and realized that more than 930 people had directly responded to the message of forgiveness and freedom through Jesus.
Over the next few months, we’re scheduled to share the love of Jesus in Kenya, Belize, and across the United States – we’re serious about reaching as many people as possible in every country with the message of Jesus, and we’re so thankful for your love, prayer and support.