Hope When Faced with Death
Last week was our third week of ministry in the cities of Kosova. Our team focused on street
evangelism while serving with a local organization whose purpose is to bring hope through
Christ to Kosova.
Ten2 participants faced the hot sun beating down on them with endurance and help from the power of the Holy Spirit. With pamphlets in hand that read “Hope for Kosova” in bold letters on the front and the verse John 3:16, information about the local church, and a statement of God’s love on the inside, we marched through the streets of Kosova for the sake of the gospel and the hope Jesus Christ brings.
While walking the streets of one Kosovar city passing out pamphlets, we attracted the friendly attention of a man named Dorijan who spoke fluent English. He stopped quickly in his tracks and excitedly shouted “hello!” in response to the sheer number of English-speaking Americans filling his streets.
He jumped off his bike to greet and invited us to the nearest café for coffee. As we walked, he told us about his work as an English translator. Shortly after, he asked how well he spoke English. We reassured him with many wide smiles, thumbs ups, and uplifting words. When we reached our destination, we enjoyed the shade from the extended café roof and sipped on large macchiatos. I sat with great joy as he boldly asked about our beliefs and why we were here.
He asked about the differences between Catholic, protestant, and orthodox beliefs, in addition to how the trinity worked. He seemed engaged, open minded, and able to comprehend all our words; an answer to our prayer for people, before entering the streets of that city. We shared how we are here for the sake of Jesus’ name and eagerly told the truth about Jesus Christ and how He changed each of our lives forever.
Throughout the conversation, Dorijan generously shared parts of his life with us. How he
enjoyed the city, how he teaches English at the local school, and what his time during the war was like.
I asked out of interest, “Were you scared during the war?”
“I was not scared but had peace when facing death,” he stated with confidence.
“I would have been scared,” I responded, “because life is something I would not want to lose. It is precious, full, and valuable.”
“I am not afraid of death,” he concluded.
“I cannot imagine what it was like to experience war and come face to face with death,” I
continued. “I would have been afraid of dying myself, but I have peace with facing death
because of the hope I receive in Jesus Christ and what He did for me. We have sinned which left us destined to die and be separated from God. But God loved us so much that He sent His son, who was both God and man, to go to the cross to take our place. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection allows anyone who chooses him to be made alive and a new creation and spend eternity with Him.”
What seems courageous to the world is foolish in the eyes of the Lord. War and coming face to face with death gives perspective. It induces a fear that shines light on how we
are immortal beings and leads to the infamous question “what happens after I die?”
Life on earth is not guaranteed or promised to last. It is something valuable but can be gone in an instant. You can suppress the fear and reality that death brings but you cannot run away from the reality of it. There is hope when faced with death and it stands alone in Jesus.
– Jenae Stevenson, Ten2 2021 Participant & Storyteller