I grew up as a church kid and I did not realize how good I had it because I was constantly surrounded by saints, trainees, and young people my age.
I constantly heard about the training, and I knew that at some point that I wanted to go. I guess you could say that I lived in this “Southern California church life bubble.”
Then, I went to the 6th grade conference, where it was the first time that I consecrated myself to the Lord. Shortly after I was baptized I started to be more familiar with how to turn to the Lord and touch my spirit.
I went to middle school and high school conferences, and it was the first time where I had heard about the European Young People’s Conference in Poland. I heard about the stories of young people saving their lunch and bus money for an entire year so that they could attend this conference. That really touched me and gave me a heart to go.
Myself and my twin sister – after our senior year of high school, and by our parents support – were able to attend the Poland conference. That is where my eyes were first opened to what the church life really was, and where my heart was first touched with a burden for Europe.
I met many young people my age from all over Europe who were all so hungry for the Word and for the Lord.
Two years later I went to the national college training, and after NCT I decided on my own that time to go to Europe to visit some young people in a few different countries and participate again in the Poland conference.
My heart continued to expand, and I will always remember a brother’s clear speaking saying that when we love the Lord and our heart’s desire matches what the Lord is after, we get a burden for that same thing. That for me was Europe.
That same year – at the end of 2015 – at the winter training, the brothers released a particular burden for Germany and the need of saints to go out on gospel trips. By then, my heart had been a bit expanded and enlarged, and I had seen a glimpse of what the Lord was doing in Europe.
I prayed much about it and I had the means to support myself to go, so with the prayers of the saints and the blessing of my parents, I went on a three-week trip to Germany.
My time there with the saints around America and other parts of the world was so precious as we labored with the local saints to preach the gospel on the German campuses, as well as shepherd and perfect the Farsi speaking new ones.
My heart and burden for Europe only continued to expand, but I realized this was not myself, but rather the Lord. The fellowship from the brothers in regards to Germany only continued, and it made me realize what the Lord wants is real and there is a real move going on.
During the past summer training – in 2016 – the brothers recapped the time of all the gospel trips and encouraged the saints, particularly those that had the experience in shepherding to really consider and go before the Lord in regards to moving to labor with the local saints in Germany.
At this point I realized that, in order for me to shepherd others, I myself needed to be shepherded. Practically, I lacked the experience and I realized that in myself I am so short. I cannot do anything without the Lord.
And my constant prayer this past year has been, Lord, unless You lead me otherwise, I am going to the training after I graduate college!
And it is only by the Lord’s mercy, the shepherding and cherishing of the saints, and the support of my parents, that I can say, Hallelujah – I am here! I pray that I would be so willing to be useful for the Lord, not just for these next two years, but for the rest of my life. Thank You Lord I can come just as I am!
Sharing by Crystal G (CA, USA) – of her experience of how the Lord brought her to the full-time training.