stories from Pick A Pocket’s
EAST EUROPEAN FAITH TRIP April 11 - 21, 2012
PICK A POCKET
WENT ON A FAITH TRIP TO SLOVENIA, CROATIA, AND ROMANIA WITHIN 10 DAYS. NO REAL PLANS, RATHER PRAYING AND SEEING WHERE GOD WANTED TO TAKE THEM. GOD PROVIDED FOOD, HOUSING, NEW FRIENDS, CONNECTIONS TO NEW CHURCHES, MINISTRIES, AND MOST OF ALL AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIP FULL OF TESTIMONIES AND MEMORIES OF HIS GOODNESS AND GLORY.
Our first stop on the trip was to the capital of Slovenia; Ljubljana. Weâ€™ve heard about an art revolution rising out of this city and we as an arts ministry wanted to see what other artists are doing with their work. Our first hours upon arriving God put in our path someone who knew what we were looking for and introduced to us â€œMetelkova.â€? Metelkova started 18 years ago and originally was a compound for the Slovenian army. Artists, punks, and teenagers basically took over the place in that time turned it into
a city art center. From that point on it has turned into a tourist spot, a place for people to party and a place for artists to show their work. We decided to camp inside this compound for the days that we were there, unknowingly by the gay bar and public bathrooms. During the day tourists and workers were there, but at night 100s of people from age 16 - 40 would come to get drunk, do drugs, and hang out with their friends. This was our time to meet so many amazing people and to form relationships.
From the two nights we were there during the partying hours, we were able use our art as a door to relate to the people who would come and share why we were in their city. We were able to share to so many people about who God was in such a natural way. Not in a preaching and shouting way, but God directed each of us on the team to minister, pray, and spark conversations the whole night. We saw the Holy Spirit move upon so many lost, drunk, and drugged up people in this time. Being able to share the love of God to people who are searching for it in different means was so powerful. We were able to pray over people who have never received prayer from anyone before. From that seed planted, we saw many people begin to feel the love of God come upon them in that moment. Although we saw no salvations in this time, we saw many seeds planted and new friendships formed among the artist community in Metelkova.
After 3 days of being in Slovenia, we decided to get back on the road and head towards Romania. We prayed and asked which direction to go and we all felt to go through Croatia and Serbia to get to Romania. We were close to the border of Serbia after a full day of driving in Croatia. As a team we didn’t know which country would be more safe to camp in. We stopped at a gas station in Croatia and we decided to see if the guy behind the counter would know any helpful information. Surprisingly he spoke English and told us that it’s a lot more safe to camp in Croatia. After talking to him for a bit he shared that he was a Christian! We were able to share who we are and what we’re doing, and his heart was so moved. He then decided to allow us to camp behind his gas station in a field and use the station showers for free! Our first showers in 4 days! Our team was so excited to see how God provided yet another place for us to safely camp with showers. It’s was so encouraging to meet another believer on the road who was willing to let strangers camp behind his station. After setting up camp and taking a shower, Taylor decided to go back to get to know Domagoj, the guy behind the counter. As we were talking a group of teenagers walked in the gas
station and from what Taylor noticed they were listening to his conversation. They walked away after a few minutes around the corner to sit at the cafe in the gas station. After talking to Domagoj, Taylor decided to head to the cafe to sit with the rest of the gropu. As he turned the corner he saw the
the next day. Their church was only a few hours away from the station. With amazement we accepted their invitation. The following day we drove to Osijek, Croatia to visit our new friends at the church. It was such a huge blessing to be able to see how God is moving in Croatia by seeing this church as an example. Their worship was intense and on fire, along with the people there. It felt more of like a gathering rather than an organized church. They also fed us amazing food that night and allowed us to stay with them at their church. God once again provided for us a place to sleep and food for our whole team.
same teenagers there hanging out with our group. As Taylor sat down, the group wanted to share something. Surprisingly the night before, a guy from the teenage group that we just met had a dream about two men talking about God in a cafe/gas station. As this group walked in the gas station, they saw Taylor and Domagoj talking about God and knew that this was the dream he had the night before. As they shared this they invited us to their church
The following day we left the church feeling so thankful, blessed, and full of Gods love for Croatia and the people in this church. We are so excited that He placed them in our path so that we can see how God is moving in this country, and now have a place to go back to in Croatia to do further ministry!
our team praying over the church
RO MA NIA
We left Croatia and drove 17 hours overnight to Sighisoara, Romania to meet our contact. Before going to Romania we all agreed that we wanted to work with gypsies, or the Roma people in their villages. In Romania, Roma people (or gypsies) are looked down upon because of their heritage and background. Therefore they reside in their own communities that are like shanty towns. Built upon a muddy foundation, having 5 - 10 people in their families that reside in a one or two roomed house or shack. Earning barely any income, and lack education because they are mistreated and unwanted by many. We needed a contact in order for us to visit these villages, but unfortunately we did not have one. Our first day of arriving into Sighisoara, two of our team members, Tiana and Caleb, went to the market to buy the team food. As they were shopping a man named Jason approached them asking if they are missionaries. Come to find out Jason is a missionary and his ministry is working with gypsies in their villages! That same moment he invited us for the next days to work with
him in the gypsy villages with his team. What a divine appointment! From the next day on we were able to see the lifestyle that gypsies live and it was terrifying to get a small glimpse of what itâ€™s like. Although it was heartbreaking, we were so joyful that we could be a light in these villages for the days that we were there. We found that most of these gypsy families have never had their family portrait taken. Therefore Taylor and Uli wanted to bless families with their portrait and they spent a day in one of the most harsh villages and photographed families for their first time. Also a part of our team went into another village to hand out food packets to families. Then they were able to put on a children's program for the gypsy kids. We spent a full 2 days in Sighisoara working in these gypsy villages and God inspired our group so much that some of us want to go back later this year to continue working with Jason and his team.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement in this time. It definitely was a treasured outreach for all of us on the team and we know it couldnâ€™t have been without the help of the Holy Spirit and also the prayers from you.
LIZ, ULI, STEPHEN, ZACH, TAYLOR, TIANA, CHRIS, RUTH, & CALEB. PICK A POCKET www.pickapocket.net www.facebook.com/groups/pickapocket www.twitter.com/pickapocketnews