GOD ORDAINS A SPECIAL MEETING IN AMSTERDAM
While traveling back to the U.S.A. in November of 2005, I had a layover in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. While walking the streets of Amsterdam God ordained a chance meeting with a young woman that I must tell you all about.
While walking the streets of Amsterdam, I heard music, like a flute playing. I followed the music I heard until I walked up to a young woman playing a recorder (similar to a flute) for money. It was cold, drizzle falling in the early morning, as she sat bundled up in old clothes on the sidewalk on a bridge over one of the canals. I listened to her music, but I observed her pale skin, dark circles under her eyes, cuts on her hands, chapped skin from being outside so much. When she finished playing, I dropped a couple euros in her cap and we began to talk. We talked about music of course, but I felt God speaking to me that He was trying to get through to her.
I was tired, but I could not overcome the urging of the Holy Spirit to talk to her about the gift of salvation. After chatting for a bit, I asked her if she could play Amazing Grace - she smiled and said sure I can. What a beautiful rendition she played! When she was finished, I asked her if she had ever experienced the grace in her life as that relayed in the song she had just played; I asked her if she was a Christian. She rolled her eyes and said, "no, no, religion is just man's rules, all made up, I am not into that stuff." She was from the Czech Republic, roaming Europe with her husband. I said, "You are right. Religion is a mess. In fact it was the religious people that killed Jesus. He talked to people He wasn't supposed to, ate with people He wasn't supposed to, sat with people He wasn't supposed to...and the religious people hated him for it. He came for sinners." She seemed intrigued by my statement. I asked if she knew Jesus. She said she had read about Him but wasn't sure what she thought yet.
By this time I knew her name, and I said, "Jeanie, I have never walked this way before, I have never stood on this street before, but for some reason I am here today and I feel led to talk to you about Jesus. You see, life can be better than it is for you right now. It really can. You know how when your husband looks for a new job, he looks for a job with benefits, right? You know a pension, insurance, stuff like that. Well, serving God is like getting that job with good benefits. You have to know Jesus in order to get God's benefits - healing, deliverance, prosperity, peace, and joy - the benefits of Psalms 103. Once you accept Jesus, then you receive the Holy Spirit as your comforter and He helps you overcome things in your life and receive the benefits God has for you." She really looked interested now. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart today and she said, "Yes I would." I took her by the hand, knelt beside, closed my eyes and asked her to join me in prayer. We prayed something like this - "Dear Heavenly Father, I ask that you see me here today. I come to you and repent of all my sins and ask that you forgive me of all unrighteousness in my life. I accept your son Jesus into my life today as my Lord and Savior. I ask Jesus to save me and cleanse me and be with me. I invite your Holy Spirit into my life to guide me, direct me, and comfort me. I will never be the same, I will never be the same, in the name of Jesus, amen." She told me she had prayed before, but that day was different. What a wonderful end to such a long mission journey!
Always be ready when God chooses to move.
- Jason Rapert