Here's a little update on some ministry action from the K-town team.
So, on Wednesday our team met at the big fountain in our downtown area to pray and then break up to go to different campuses. Jason, Sharon, and I went to KTU to put some posters, (which advertise an Agape website for students), and to do some surveys. Yes surveys. To those of you who are not sure what that means, it is a method used by Campus Crusade to meet and talk with students. So basically, we walk up to students to see if we can ask some questions. Usually they give the typical Lithuanian response "of course." Our surveys usually have 3 to 6 questions about life, spiritual stuff, students needs, ect. These are the questions we used on Wednesday's survey (which we borrowed from the NW CCC office):
1. What are the worst things Christians have done in history?
2. What is the worst thing a Christian has done to you?
3. What did Jesus teach?
4. Do you think that those who did those hurtful things were truly following Jesus?
5. Would you like to learn more about what Jesus actually taught?
Our intent was to help students see that often times the hurtful things that have been done in Jesus' name or by his followers, do not really reflect Jesus' heart. We have talked with many students who have a huge mistrust of anything Christian because of the corruption, ugly things in history, or even the direct pain caused by people in the church. We want to show them the Jesus found in the Bible who hung out with those seen as the "sinners." The Jesus who stood up for prostitutes and helped them get off the streets. The Jesus who loved and cared for everyone. In fact, the people He had the hardest time with were the religious leaders of the day who had led people astray. Sure, Jesus called people out of their self centered ways and out of their sinful habits, but His purpose was not to come and judge the world but to save it (see John 3:17).
Jason and I got to talk with one student on Wednesday who had left the church because a leader in the church verbally abused him for not attending church regularly. He sees himself as a very spiritual person but felt like he could not go back to the church. Since then, he has become interested by other religious traditions like Buddhism and the Hari Krishnas (who we often see parading by our street on Saturdays). We had a great time talking and he wants to get togehter sometime for coffee to work on his English and discuss spiritual issues.
It breaks my heart that there are many other students like this who have thrown in the towel because they have never known the real Jesus whose love is unbelievably beautiful, whose grace is astonishing, and whose concern for where they are at is beyond comprehension. Instead they have only met weak humans who have done some pretty ugly things in the name of Christ and who will often let them down. And as angry as I get in hearing these stories, and as much as I want to distance myself from those in the church who have said and done hurtful things in Jesus' name, I must still identify with them as my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I must recognize and acknowledge the times when I have said or done things that have hurt others. I long to be a more clear reflection of who Jesus is and how He lived His life. I long to be a picture of Him here in Kaunas Lithuania. Please pray that we would be the hands and heart of Jesus here.