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Europe Field Story

“Father, what if You say ‘No’"

"As hard as it is to entrust our own life and dreams to God, it is often that much harder to trust someone else’s dreams and salvation to a God we know is good but they do not believe in."

Have you ever experienced that nigle of doubt in the back of your mind as you offered to pray for someone or encouraged them to step out and trust God? Have you ever paused and prayed, “But Father, what happens to them and their seedling faith if You say, ‘No’?” I have asked this question of God on a few occasions, and in the last couple of weeks *Lucija has been asking it as well.

In the early 2000s after marrying *Mark and moving to America, Lucija was desperate. Nothing seemed to be going right, she could not find the type of work she wanted and life seemed devoid of hope. Finally feeling like she had nothing to lose Lucija agreed to go to church with a co-worker, there she met Jesus and accepted the salvation and life that He offered.  Mark was okay with whatever Lucija wanted to believe but for him it clashed with his belief in the naturalistic order and logic he saw in the world.

Now fast forward to January 2019, Mark and Lucija with their two children have lived in Slovenia for a few years and Mark has been running a successful international tourism business. The time has come to once again apply for their new visas allowing them to drive, do business, and live in Slovenia. Then CO-VID closes everything to a inching-crawl if not halting progress entirely. Mark gave it until July before he once again became concerned. However, no one seems to be able to keep track of paperwork, speak with the right people, or explain why the visa process could not move forward.

 In mid-September Lucija shared that in a few weeks Mark would have in-person meeting with the head of the visa department in Koper. Neither Lucija nor Mark knew what this meeting indicated; if they would finally get the needed visas or that they would be told they had to leave the country. Mark was at a loss; on top of not being able to work in the midst of the uncertainty of CO-VID, he was now trying to control and predict what needed to be done if they were forced to leave Slovenia. As the weeks worn on and Mark’s anxiety continued to rise, Lucija suggested that they begin reading the Bible together and praying that God would intervene on their behalf. Mark astonishingly agreed. Lucija rejoiced in this small softening of Mark’s heart but also began to pray, “Father, what will happen if you say, ‘No’? What will happen Mark’s heart then?”

As hard as it is to entrust our own life and dreams to God, it is often that much harder to trust someone else’s dreams and salvation to a God we know is good but they do not believe in. Yet, in the end we have to take a stand on the love that we have received from our Savior and step out in faith; proclaiming that there is a God who is invested in us, who hears our prayers, and will work all things together for good.

Mark and Lucija did end up receiving their visas and will be staying in Slovenia. Mark has returned to an overall indifferent stance on faith, sometimes agreeing to read the Bible with Lucija for a short while but often refusing. Yet, I am praying that this trail has put a dent in Mark’s armor and God is working below the surface calling Andrew to Himself.

*Pseudonym used 

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