As believers our testimony is our story for all the world to see. In daily life people watch to see how this story plays out. No matter if you are a foreigner in a strange country or you are a national at home where you grew up, we have to realize as believers people watch us. So how does your daily life reflect your story, your testimony? Many days I ask myself this, did I show the love of the Lord to others throughout the day, did they feel this love without having to ask me, am I the example they want to be more like and so on…
Over the past year the youth at Rock of Ages church have planned and prepared a youth trip to go snow skiing, this is something most of them had never done before. Not only were they making plans, God was too, He had been laying a foundation and setting people up to be in their paths so that they would need to choose how this chapter of their story would be written. The New Year came and went and they set off on a journey to enjoy a time of snow skiing, fellowship and evangelism.
Several days into the trip they were faced with their first chance to chose how they would write their story. There was a man named Jion who was out for his daily walk one day, and he saw something that caught his eye. He saw a simple symbol of a fish, the symbol recognized around the world for Christianity. The symbol was an emblem on the back of Petru’s car, that happened to be parked in a parking lot that Jion had walked by that day.
Here’s a little background on the fish symbol for those whom may not know. The Greek word for fish is “ichthys.” As early as the first century, Christians created an acronym using the Greek word: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, translated to Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The fish also has plenty of other theological overtones as well, for Christ fed the 5,000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves (a meal recapitulated in Christian love-feasts) and called his disciples “fishers of men.” Water baptism, practiced by immersion in the early church, created a parallel between fish and converts. Even some 2000 years later we still see this fish with bumper stickers, car emblems, logos, t-shirts, etc. as a symbol of Christianity giving hope to the world. Credit for fish symbol commentary to christianitytoday.com
Back to the story, Jion passing by this parking lot saw the fish on Petru’s car and decided to wait to see if the people returned that drove that car. He was in need of some encouragement and this symbol open the door for him to receive the encouragement. Petru and youth returned at the end of the day and they were greeted by this man. He had waited for them all day just because he saw this fish symbol, much like I said in the beginning people are watching to see how our story plays out, Jion was no different. Petru and the youth laid aside their plans for the rest of the day and simply ministered to Jion. As they talked with him, they learned he had been in Greece for several years working. He was originally from Georgia and he is a believer just looking for some support from other believers in an area, where there are few. This why he was encouraged enough by seeing the fish symbol to wait all day for these Christians. He has hopes to build a business in the local area and prays to the Lord for direction, but ultimately seeks other believers to fellowship and worship with.
Petru and the youth prayed specifically for his needs and requests and then Jion did the same for them. As they parted ways they said they would continue to pray for each other and if they didn’t see each other again they would in heaven.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Thessalonians 5:11 (HCSB)
No matter where you are, in Greece, Moldova, the USA or somewhere else in this world people are watching and our daily walk is our story. We should be ready to share with anyone who has questions, maybe it’s as simple as a fish on your car. How will you respond, will you clear you schedule for the balance of the day? I ask you to pray for the church in Panasesti as they carry over the blessings from the Lord in 2017 to 2018, let their story shine bright for the entire village. Also, pray for Petru’s leadership and for the youth of the church as they are the future. Be blessed and thanks for your time. God is good, all the time God is good.