by Christian Paúl
I remember over two years ago I was flying to Europe for my internship and thinking, Was this a presumptuous plan based on my youthful desire for adventure? How can I help in a country where I don’t speak the language and I don’t know anybody? My sister Debbie had similar doubts as she joined me one year later! But during our time in Austria, God has taught us a truth that has become my motto: “It’s not so much what we can do for God, but what God can do for and through us if we allow Him!”
One reason I came to Europe was because I had heard how secular it was and how closed people were to the gospel. I wanted to test and see if the counsel about Christ’s method could work in a modern secular society. To my amazement, these two years have surpassed my highest expectations, proving that God’s counsel is extremely effective and up-to-date!
All people wear masks, but behind the masks of apathy, secularism, power, and rudeness, there is always a son or a daughter who belongs to God, having a hunger to love and be loved, a craving for true peace, fulfillment, and joy. The harvest is plentiful and the workers few. The problem is not how “secular” the world is, but how asleep we are as individuals and as a church. When it comes to Christ’s method of medical missionary work, we’ve witnessed that “Of this work there is great need, and the world is open for it.” Medical Ministry, p. 239.
In our institution we run both a health center and a one-year health evangelism training course. Over the past months, an increasing number of health guests from all over Europe have been coming to our New Start programs. Some of them were atheists, skeptics, agnostics, or not interested in religion, but Christ’s method melted their hearts. One businessman with AIDS came, who was so touched by the health message that he began reading books from the Spirit of Prophecy. He went back to his country wanting to attend a Seventh-day Adventist church and was diagnosed by his doctor as free from AIDS!
Debbie worked with another guest who was scheduled for surgical removal of hip tumors and was on a high dosage of pain medication. After praying with us for a miracle and receiving some treatments, she dropped all her medications and was able to jog for the first time in two years—free of pain and with tears of gratitude! We’ve seen tumors shrink and disappear, various diseases reverse, several guests give their lives to Jesus and get baptized, and guests who were absolutely not interested in religion now come and worship with us!
We can clearly see that God is bringing a revival into the lives of young people in Europe! The church in Austria has been very open to the work of our institution and to the emphasis of the General Conference on comprehensive health evangelism. I was asked to write an article on medical missionary work for the Seventh-day Adventist youth magazine, and later God opened the door for me to be invited as a speaker for Austrian Youth Sabbath to talk to over 500 young people on medical missionary work!
In a few weeks, 11 students will graduate from our health evangelism training course. By God’s grace, they will spread throughout Europe as health evangelists to help others start institutions and continue following Jesus’ commission! We have more young people applying this year than we can house. Many young people are starting grass-root movements with health evangelism in their communities, and I’ve had more speaking requests in different countries than I can accept! These are just a few of the many stories and miracles from the past months.
My friends, I believe that Jesus is coming very soon. During His earthly life, Jesus told His disciples that His meat (or food) was to save souls like the woman at the well. My question to you is, what is your meat? What consumes you, and what are your priorities? Are they your relationship with your Creator and making friends for eternity? God’s question for you is, “Whom shall I send?” May He be able to use you and me to hasten His coming so we can go home soon!