inside #03/2013 - March 2013
It is springtime and with it comes the awakening of a new season. Get an insight of what God is doing at the LIFEHOUSE and get ignited by the excitement about the new move of the Holy Spirit and his work in our midst. Enjoy the video...
important: all names have been altered !
We met Robert three years ago. He was a heroin and alcohol addict and he lived on the streets.
We spent a lot of time with him and finally he gave his life to Jesus while his Buddy next to us listened to the AC/DC song "Highway to Hell".
Afterwards his life started to change and he somehow disappeared from the streets. We lost contact.
Just a few days ago we ran into each other. He looked good and healthy. He was very excited to see us and he told us what has happened in the meantime. He has been clean now for two years and he's got a family. His son just turned 9 months and he has a job in a veterinary clinic.
Then he said:
"If you guys would not have been around for me back then, I would not be here now".
We have known James for several months. He isn't always around and we can't always get a hold of him to have serious
The other day we met him with some of his friends standing in line to get food from a drop in. James introduced us with these words:
"These are my Christian friends. They are awesome! Every time I'm about to get myself into trouble, they cross my way and straighten me out. They are also the only ones I can speak with about the bible. I'm so glad that they are here."
It's always good to hear such words. It's only amazing that we can't remember that we have ever spoken with him about the bible or straightened him out. Through our presence we make a difference, people recognize it and a desire comes up for a change in their lives.
Back to Jesus
Last year, we visited Bobby in prison for several months. During this time he experienced Jesus. Unfortunately, after his
release, he turned
away from Jesus and he tried to avoid us.
But a few months ago we met him on the streets and we had a very good conversation. Slowly, he started to open up his heart again and has been excited to see us. A few days ago, he humbly asked:
" Do you have some kind of a bible study? I am longing for the peace I experienced when I was in prison a year ago. I want to get back to Jesus".
John (real name)
My name is John Turner Jr. I am 26 years old and was born in Minneapolis, MN . I moved to Austin,TX in the spring of
2002 and I spent
the next 5 years on and off the streets in and out of Jail and hooked on IV drugs.
I always thought that all my problems were everyone elses fault. I spent most of my time being hateful and full of anger. This caused a lot of problems and ruined a lot of relationships.
Most of all it ruined me. I hit rock bottom, my life was a real mess. I needed help in a big way and help is what I got. The help I got was the best thing I could ask for it was the love of Jesus Christ. He showed his love to me my dropping his 6 most kind and loving disciples ever in my life to help and to guide me.
For this I would like to say thank you Jesus Christ. I am so glad to know you.
Daniel had his 54th birthday at the end of May. Once we asked him how old he would like to get and 54 was his target.
Daniel has been a drug addict for 30 years and has been homeless most of the time.
We have known him for quite a while and wanted to do something really special for his birthday. So we took him on a trip to Lake Travis. While we where driving that scenic road he said that he had not been there for 15 years. When he was young he had a little house at that lake.
He really enjoyed the quiet and peace out there. Usually he is wandering around in the city and this is very depressing. Together we are looking for a way to get him off the streets. Jesus can set him free.
Robert asked us for a Bible after having a intense discussion about God. We promised to bring one the next time we would visit him.
We knew however the fact that Robert has trouble reading books and that he needed reading glasses. Unfortunately he couldn't tell us what diopter he needed. So we turned to God and asked HIM what kind of glasses Robert would need.
We felt encouraged to buy reading glasses with a diopter of 1.25. When we brought Robert the Bible and the reading glasses he was astonished over the fact that we had brought him eyeglasses with the accurately needed strength. "How did you know what diopter I needed?" he asked. When we told him that we had asked God and that HE gave us the answer, Robert was obviously stunned.
On this day Robert experienced God as the heavenly Father, who delights in every detail of our life.
Amy is a 18 year old girl. Forced by the divorce of her parents and the
chaotic lifestyle of her mother she ended up living on the streets. During the last
two years we met her again and again. First she didn't like us and she tried to
make us look ridiculous in front of her friends.
During the whole time she observed us and counterbalanced our preaching with our acts. We tried to show her the love of God through our friendship. Gradually she changed. Today she is a nice young lady and is hungry for God. She wants to get off the street and take responsibility for her life. She seriously talks about moving to where her dad lived and to start a new life.
Saved in Prison
We know Bobby for approximately 2 years. Because of his heavy alcohol problems he had troubles with the police on a
regular basis. Last July we got the news that he got arrested and that he was sentenced to 9 months in prison.
We did not know his last name so we weren't able to contact him. A few weeks later one of Bobby's friends showed us a letter that he
just received from Bobby. In this letter Bobby asked us if we could write him a letter. We did not waste any time
and sent him a letter instantly. But we didn't just write him a letter but instead we went to visite him in Prison on a regular basis.
Through our many visits our friendship grew and we could observe how Jesus became more and more part of Bobby's life. We were amazed by all the stories he told us about how he had experienced the Holy Spirit. God is moving in his life, this is obvious. His desire is to do a rehab and to learn more about God as soon as he comes out of prison. We would like to give him the opportunity to live with us.
Transformation by the Power of the Cross
Mike is 53 years old and has lived on the streets for many years already. Since his youth nearly everything went wrong in his life. His thoughts and feelings were dominated by hate against his father and also against his sister. Four months ago and under tears he gave his life to Jesus. He also forgave his family for all the wrong they did to him. After that he lived with us for two months and he made remarkable progress in his relationship with Jesus. Just a few days ago Mike called and told us that he lives with his sister now and that he found a job and that he is working since three weeks already. His life was changed by the power of the cross in a dramatic way. He was transformed from being a homeless person full of hate into a Jesus loving man.
God at work
We have known Billy for several years. Travelling, alcohol and parties are the things he was living for. It was beyond his imagination to live a life for any other purpose. But somehow he changed during the past few months. Just recently, he spent several weeks in jail. While serving his sentence, he read the New Testament back and forth. He was really touched by the words he was reading.
When we met him on the street the other day, he seemed to be changed and wholehearted in the way he was talking. He told us that he realized how wrong his lifestyle is in the eyes of God. He admitted that he's got a serious problem with alcohol and that he is unable to free himself from this addiction. He desires to live a life that pleases God. Still, he struggles to accept God's love, His grace and His forgiveness. We believe that Billy will become a child of God soon.
Jesus is different
Mike is 56. For a long time he is living on the street together with his son. He's been in prison often. Time and again he is involved in fights and gets in trouble with the police. A year ago, when we met him first, he had a very hostile attitude toward us. He didn't want to have anything to do with church and Christians. Since then, we've met him every week. We talked a lot and shared about our life with Jesus. Over the weeks and months a wonderful friendship developed.
Now we talk about God oftentimes. Mike opens his heart and shares about his hurts and even mistakes he committed. This month he joined a service in Austin together with us. He could hardly believe the joy and excitement of the people who worshipped. His comment: "The people seem to enjoy church!" And: "The Jesus you know seems to be another one than I have heard about until today!"
His son told us that he appreciates and respects us because of the way we treat his father. "There are few people who are good to my dad." He too doesn't believe in God, sells drugs and is inolved in all kinds of fishy businesses. Now he bought a bible and reads it too. "It can't harm to know what's written in there!"
He is in his twenties but this day he looks much older. His soul and body seem to be worn out, he is tired. While he was in the army he had some very traumatic experiences. A lot of things point in the direction of abuse. Similar events continue to happen again and again. We asked him if he had ever given his life to Jesus and he said he had. We have layed hands on him and prayed for the healing of his soul. We let him experience GOD's love by giving him hugs. After that he can laugh again. New joy lets his face shine again.
After his parents died in an accident, Mike has travelled across the country for more than ten years. His sister overdosed and since then he has no family at all. Addicted to heroin he waivers between being clean and backsliding. Some time ago he gave his life to Jesus and we prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Some days later he told us that he was doing very good. He has started to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, prays a lot, reads the bible and is looking forward to joining a church. Two weeks ago he slid back into drugs but we know that Jesus won't let him down and neither will we.
Phil, 52, has been living on the streets of Austin for many years. When he was a teenager his life started to go downhill. Today he is addicted to amphetamines and lives on panhandling. Even though he has dreamed of a better future he has given up on his life. Phil is diffent from other homeless people . He wants to leave the street and to turn over a new leaf. He knows he can't do it by his own strength. When we tell him about Jesus and His lifechanging power he listens carefully. This good news and the hope to live with us someday encourages him. We look forward to the day when God's plan for his life becomes reality.
Mark, 19, has been living on the street for the past two years and during this time he has travelled throughout the USA three times. We were sitting in the park with our guitars when he came to talk to us. Just a little small talk but then he became very serious: "I just cannot stay out of debt. No matter how much money I have, I spend it." No problem for GOD ! We asked Mark if we could pray for him and he was thankful for that. Later on we all went to eat and Mark ordered the smallest soft drink but the waitress handed him the largest size cup. She says: "I just made it a big one, no extra charge ! " Mark was stunned. His eyes were sparkling because our prayer was heard. Later that night he told us all about his life. About his fiancee who overdosed, about questioning his faith in God since then and about all the things he experienced travelling. God's love had opened his heart.
Thomas, 21, was one of the first runways we had ever met. We had not seen him for a long time but we met him again at the place where we always have worship. He was looking very good and he was sober too. This was because he had been released from prison an hour ago. He had been there for four months and now he was ready to go home to his family. "I am tired of travelling, I want a job and an apartment !" We decided to drive him home right away. He really enjoyed the two hour drive on this nice summer evening. Later on he told us:" If I would have stayed in Austin I would probably be in trouble again. I'm sure that right now I would be totally drunk."
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