One of the things I have always desired for my kids is for them to know God . . . like really know God. I don't want them to just read about Him in the Bible or hear about Him in other people's stories. I want them to walk and talk with Him for themselves. They've always had a relationship with Him for sure, but honestly, prior to 2012, they had only "experienced" Him as much as suburban America allowed.
All that changed when we came to do a Discipleship Training School. We made space in our lives to allow God to show us who He is, and boy, did He ever! Our kids have been marked forever by His love, His grace, and His power.
One such time was on an outreach to Germany. The team was doing open air worship just outside of a mall in Augsburg. Our family was sitting off to the edge worshipping and trying to make ourselves available to talk to passers-by but not much interaction was happening.
Most people were focused on other things and didn't seem to care about a group of Americans singing and talking about God. At one point, I looked over at my then 10 year old daughter and noticed tears streaming down her face. I sat down on the concrete beside her and asked what was happening in her heart and mind. I was astonished at what tumbled out. "I wish God would just highlight everyone that doesn't know Him, so we can make sure we talk to those people. Even if they don't want to talk to us, we would know that they need to!" She was overcome with emotion for all the people that were within an arm's reach but whose hearts were a million miles away.
This led us to talk about how this is exactly why it is SO important that we try to talk to everyone. We don't know where their hearts are, but God does. We also talked about how sometimes God does highlight people, and when that happens, our obedience is of utmost importance.
I wish I could say after that moment we were able to talk to loads of people who gave their lives to Christ, but we didn't. In fact, that day was pretty uneventful and not very "successful" evangelistically speaking. However, my family was unexpectedly impacted by God that day, and my daughter's heart for the lost was forever changed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. In my book, and I think God's book too, that counts as a huge success!