An Eternal Birthday
Dave Patty | September 2017
There is nothing like an eternal birthday.
I don’t mean a birthday party that lasts forever, but a birth day that begins a life without end —the day you put your faith in Jesus.
Most of us celebrate the day we were physically born, but we miss the fact that our physical birth launched a life with a disturbingly short horizon. Spiritual birth gives you resurrection life, one that cannot be ended by death.
Recently, I received an email from a dear friend named Lukas, titled simply “birthday.” He sent it on July 31 and attached two pictures. One image was a cross he drew long ago with the date July 31, 1997. The other was a photo of the flyleaf of his Bible, which contains a note written by me on that same day in July.
Twenty years ago, at an English camp in the Czech Republic, I had the privilege of praying with Lukas as he put his faith in Christ. Today he is happily married to a believing wife, serving in a local church, and raising his family to follow Jesus. He was the first in his family to put his faith in Christ, but now his faith is creating a new chain of blessing. Twenty years later he is still walking with God.
On that day in 1997, the entire Josiah Venture team was just twelve people, serving in only two countries. The camp where Lukas trusted Christ was only the sixth outreach camp we had ever led. Since then, JV has led over 1,300 camps with 70,000 young people in attendance. Every one of those numbers represents a person with eternal worth to God. Someone like Lukas.
This summer, over 6,000 young people attended 130 evangelistic camps. Many of them made professions of faith in Christ. Now in September, they head back to school. Most of their friends and family members do not believe. We are working hard so that they will have a vibrant, spiritual home in the hundreds of churches we partner with across the region.
Someday there will be eternal birthday parties in heaven and you will get to meet each of these new believers in person. Until then, thanks for making it possible for our team to serve these precious young people through your gifts and prayers.
Happy Birthday, Lukas!