I get to know about Shalom in World Youth days in Panama. One of my goals there was to meet communities with evangelization charism, I was interested in finding out what is happening in the church in this field globally – and as I felt that it is part of my calling I saw a need to meet people with the similar vocation. In this way I met missionaries from Shalom Community. One by one I started to get to know the Community even after I’ve returned back to Latvia. I started to participate in online prayer group “Alive in Christ” and to have spiritual accompaniment with Shalom missionaries, Barbara. I think the best knowledge coming from experience and Barbara introduced me to idea that it might be worthy to have my own “Shalom experience” – to go to Shalom mission in Budapest and to live there for a week or two.
My first plan was to come on June, 2020, but as Covid crisis hit, this plan was cancelled. Finally I thought that with the current situation in the world around this crisis it is not realistic and I almost gave up on this idea. It was until Cecilia (a missionary from Budapest Shalom mission) asked if I finally decided. That night I could not fall asleep as I felt that Holy Spirit is convincing me to go. So just two weeks before my flight I bought my ticket.
When I arrived I felt very welcomed. Here I spent in Community only a week, but during this time I felt that God gives His graces abundantly.
One of important moments here was recognition that Jesus is worthy… No thing, no man can be compared to Jesus. And it is worthy to surrender your life to Him. He knows the best and He wants you the best things, by only surrendering to Him, you can experience your life in all it’s fullness. I had this understanding before. But after I talked with missionaries (I asked them how and why they became missionaries) I came to this recognition again. After that talk at night I felt that God is asking me if I am ready to give up on my own plans, my understanding how my life should look like and even if I am ready to give up on things I considered as gifts from Him and my response was clear: “Yes!” and great peace and of surrendering to Him came into my heart, even if I do not know His exact plan in my life. Some time later at worship service I attended here worship leader told prophetically during the common prayer: “You can trust Jesus as He is good shepherd and He is guiding your steps”. These words are key for me in the way of trusting Him.
Another moment I was very touched by is the love of God what I experienced here through people, Community and importance of it in a mission. Jesus told to his disciples: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Jesus did not say that others will know that we are His disciples by serving, praying or even gifts of Holy Spirit, but by love for each other. This seems to be some sort of mystery for me which I feel I need to discover more and more in my life. But there are no better witness for this broken world as the love God is giving us to share among each other.
The last thing I want to share in my testimony is moments when we’ve been sharing Jesus/reaching out people on streets of Budapest. Sometimes I felt it was not possible that some people could be touched by witness, because for me they seemed to be too distant, too young etc., but experience showed that there is hunger for God people have here. Especially young people are searching and are open for reality of gospel. I was specially touched when I was sharing my testimony of becoming a christian with 2 young girls, at the beginning I was doubting if I need to share how I became christian with them, but when one of them revealed that she is buddhist, I felt that I need to do it, because previously I was related to oriental traditions. During the witness I could see how interest grew in their eyes and how they are opening up. That was really beautiful.
Surrendering, community, sharing – these and many other moments will stay in my heart.
If you want to know more and join the online prayer group you can get in contact with one of us by the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you, we hope to see you soon!