The team had hoped to spend the night outside on deck, doing some stargazing as the ferry crossed the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. But cloudy skies dampened this idea as the ferry made its way from Patras to Igoumenitsa to Corfu, finally docking at Bari. Subsequently, the boys spent most of their time inside, although Davide and Kyle did attempt to sleep under the stars for a while until a wet deck and cold from the breaking dawn chased them back inside.
As they ate lunch together, this young lady that God had brought across their path, said to the team that she’d been told she could get onto the very same train that they had been denied access on. She too was travelling on a Global Pass. She suggested they come with her when she boarded and see what happened. When they got to the train, Davide asked the conductor if they could get on, to which he replied, “Yes, it’s fine.” Davide also asked the conductor if he could purchase a ticket from him to which he replied, “No, it’s fine.” Davide checked twice more with the conductor and was told it was fine.
During the seven hour journey, they were checked by four different conductors – only one of them stopped Davide and told him he needed a ticket because he was Italian. When Davide explained the situation, that conductor also said that it was fine and left.
That night they slept in a room at the train station in Bolzano and the next morning headed for an MDT (Missionary Discipleship Training) friend’s house in Utrecht, Netherlands. They arrived at Elizabeth after ten that Saturday night. It was good to feel the softness of a bed once again.
Later the team met up with Kaisa, a missionary friend of Davide who had provided a place for them to sleep that night at YWAM where she worked. Kaisa gave them some insight into the needs, as well as the work being done by YWAM in Amsterdam. She showed them the prayer room of the “Tabernacle of the Nations” where Christian workers meet every day to pray for Amsterdam. And full time prayer ministry is changing the street.
When Kyle put the photos I’ve just shared on the Re-birth website, he was worried because it’s in the Red Light district. But he said, “There ain’t no sugarcoating stuff there.”
When their ride collects them at the train station to take them to the conference, they discover their “chauffeur” is none other than a South African missionary working for OM in Belgium. And as they got to know Johann Jordaan throughout the course of the day, they discovered they had much in common. Johann, too, is a man determined to live by faith. Re-birth have subsequent plans to partner with his ministry called Go In Faith. http://www.goinfaith.co.za
Tiialotta, another MDT friend, met them at the ferry station in Turku at 7am. They spent the morning in preparation for a street concert Tiia had arranged for them to help with. In the early evening they joined Purified, an Australian Christian rapper, in a city centre square for ministry. A large crowd gathered to listen to the rapper, and Nathaneal had an opportunity to share what Jesus means to him and why he dances. The team also helped with handing out free coffee and cake.
Finland was more than beautiful verdant forests, or graceful sailing ships floating on mirrored waters; it offered some of the best conversations the team had had. This was a huge highlight on their journey. People were open and saw something different in the Re-birth guys. One person told Christo, “Thanks for not judging; you're so different. I really appreciate that you take time to talk to me and listen.” They ministered in the square till way past midnight.
When they got back to Tiialotta’s sister’s house, they were initiated into the Finnish culture of sauna, where they braved the steam until three in the morning with the local pastor as he shared his wisdom.
The next day brought the blessing of staying over at a Christian camp and worshipping at a concert, Finnish style.
If you haven’t yet visited the Re-birth website or viewed their Europe documentary teaser, hurry over to www.the-rebirth.com and