November 05, 2008

Student Post: Joey Charles

Answer to Prayer... How God beats the language barrier!

Well I prayed for an opportunity to share the gospel despite the language barrier and God gave me the chance.

This past weekend I went on a middle school retreat though a ministry to the military called Club Beyond. We all went to Nuernberg and stayed in a hostel that is built in the wall of a castle! How Cool is THAT! Well it was amazing and God used those kids to build me up and encourage me in my singing and guitar playing skills. That may seem small but you'll understand why that was huge in a moment. They were preparing me for something bigger.

The whole time I was there I noticed that there were a bunch of German Students walking around and going in and out of meeting and such. I found out that they were exchange students in America for a year and I really wanted to talk to them. Problem was I was a leader for the middle-schooler's, which wasn't really a problem in its own rite, but it hindered my availability to talk to the German students.

On the second day in the evening I was playing some music in the hallway and some of the German students walked by and asked if I could play some music for a presentation they were doing for their German exchange student debriefing. Normally I would have been to nervous to say yes, but God used the encouragement from the middle-schoolers to build me up so that I immediately said yes.

SIDE NOTE: I originally agreed to play music for them thinking that I was just going to be playing some songs and they would listen. I didn't realize that I would have a huge platform to share the Word.

So their presentation was on the Church in America vs. the Church here in Germany. They were going to show the differences in excitement and church services and such and they wanted me to play a song and give a short talk. We made the plans and then went our separate ways until the presentation.

While I was waiting to play for them I realized I had a ton of anxiety hanging on my heart. I tried to figure out what to say since I only had a few sentences to use to share God's love with them. I wanted to get across that God is a God of love and that it isn't about works when we receive His gift of salvation. Well I decided to just use the Bible because when all is said and done the Bible is the thing that breaks hearts. I decided on John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9.

The Theme of the Presentation was really about the different levels of excitement in the German Churches and the America Churches. So I decided to throw something about the excitement that we have knowing the love of God and being in relationship with Him.

So the time Had come... and they called me in EARLY!!! What!! Not enough time to think through everything!!! So i went in with my guitar and they pointed me to my chair.

They started the presentation in German and then had me start my song. God gave me the strength and the passion to accurately sing that song. "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" was heard that night clear and with out a tremble in my voice. God is soo good! As I sang that song a funny thing started to happen, people in the audience started singing it too.

It was amazing to have people singing along with me, in Germany, In a exchange student presentation, surrounded by people who spoke German and English, and God answered my prayers to be able to beat the language barrier! HE is SOO GOOD!

Then after the the chorus I stopped and started talking.
"I just want to stop and give you guys some verses before we leave today. The first one is John 3:16 and the 2nd is Eph 2:8-9. I just want you to see that God sent His one and only son to die on the cross for our sins because He loves you so much. When we accept that love and start to understand it then we need to go out and love others because Christ first loved us. And that is why we get so excited singing about His love. Because it is something we can't comprehend. It's an amazing thing, let me finish this song." So I finished the song and just ended with, "Now that's something to get excited about". God allowed me to share the message of His love and forgiveness through grace in the most unexpected way. HE does answer prayer.

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