In Spite of Our Weakness
Dave Patty | October 2016
How can Christ’s strength be released in our weakness?
Several weeks ago, our leadership team asked this question as we stood around Andrej Lovse, JV country leader in Slovenia. He had just received word that a slanderous letter had been written to the highest levels of government about an outreach event our team was planning. Powerful individuals were attempting to shut them down. We prayed for boldness, for open doors, and then for God to show His power where we had none.
Slovenia has a tiny population of evangelical believers –no more than 1,500 in a country of over 2 million. Churches are small, evangelical believers marginalized from society. Yet Nick Vujicic, an Australian young man with Eastern European roots had been invited to speak on national television in a broadcast about bullying that would be viewed in all the high schools. Nick has no arms or legs, yet he speaks powerfully about how limitations can be overcome. Central to his message is the testimony of the transforming power of Christ in his life.
Since the broadcast was sponsored by the government, they forbid Nick from openly declaring the gospel. Yet our team was planning follow-up events where the good news would be clearly shared with young people. We were hoping the government would allow these events to be announced when Nick spoke. But the slanderous letter shut this door tight.
How could God work in spite of our weakness? Only 400 showed up at our events. When the gospel was shared 14 responded –small, but significant fruit in this very hard soil. What we couldn’t anticipate, was the social media ripple. Within just a couple of days our event, and Nick’s gospel presentation, had been viewed by 18,000 people all over the country on Youtube. In spite of the closed doors, our event reached thousands more people than we had originally planned.
Not only that, but at the last minute, Nick was given a personal audience with the president of Slovenia. The meeting lasted an hour and a half and Nick was able to clearly share the gospel with him. Nick prayed for him, and when he finished the president was visibly moved, saying this was the first time prayers of any kind had been lifted up in that office. When one of our key evangelical pastors who was with Nick reminded the president that next year was the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation, he replied, “Let’s do something big together to honor this. I would like to be the main sponsor.”
God is opening doors for His gospel –in spite of our weakness.
Thank you for standing with us with your gifts and prayers,