God gave me boldness -letter from Kristal
I just wanted to let you know how blessed I am to have been able to serve at Street Church this summer. Coming to Calgary for my first time meant that I didn’t know anybody and would be away from my friends and family for three months. Street Church was how God provided me with friends and family. Since the very first day in Triangle Park, I really felt like the volunteers were my brothers and sisters, and almost like I had known them before. I always felt God’s presence and witnessed his love among the volunteers. They made me feel loved and blessed and they would constantly remind me of how special I am in Christ. After Street Church on Monday I would look forward to Friday when we would meet again. Sometimes it was hard to be away from my Street Church family between Monday and Friday, but come Friday I would always be refreshed by the love of my brothers and sisters.
I always felt safe at Street Church, even though we were in the worst part of the city. At first I was shy to talk to the homeless people, and I didn’t really know what to say. I didn’t know how to pray for them. But after standing back and watching how other people did it, and then stepping out and trying to talk to people myself, I was amazed at how God was able to use me, a young and inexperienced girl, to bless others. I was discouraged at times, when people weren’t interested or didn’t listen, but I was just obeying God and leaving the results up to Him.
At Street Church I experienced God in ways that I never had known before. I witnessed baptisms, shared the gospel, packed the Harkema’s van full of hotdog and hamburger buns, received God’s provision through getting things for myself from the Street Church house, served food to hungry people, served drinks to thirsty people, prayed for people, got prayed for, shared my testimony, slept in front of City Hall, almost got sold as a prostitute (haha)( Just for your information what happened is that around 430 am when we were at the vigil at city hall, a man came to Art and thought that he is a pimp and offered him money for Kristal, Art and Eric for almost an hour tried to persuade him that they were preachers and that Kristal is not for sale and shared the gospel and prayed for the man- inserted by steetchurch), marched around city hall and the police station seven times, went to Jack’s funeral, listened to amazing stories about things that have happened at Street Church in the past, built relationships with volunteers and the homeless people, and fellowshipped at the prayer meeting on Saturdays.
I learned so much from you guys. Especially you and Bogdan. Here at school I don’t have much contact with people older than me. I don’t have any older mentors or pastors. I really enjoyed just soaking up wisdom as you or Bogdan, or anyone else, spoke. The prayer meetings were awesome. I learned about how to pray and how the body of Christ functions as a family. I learned about persecution in general, and specifically what is going on in the city of Calgary. One thing that I won’t forget is that one day when we were worshiping in Triangle Park and you were so full of joy that you were dancing around, not caring what anyone thought. It was so funny to watch you, and I was encouraged.
God gave me boldness and taught me how to trust in Him. He showed me that he can use me to further his kingdom. He showed me that serving in practical ways is exactly what Jesus commands us to do, and that it’s a lot simpler than we think. He showed me that the reason he tells us to do this is for joy, and he definitely blessed me with that joy this summer. He told me that my purpose at Street Church was to get trained up and gain experience so that I can share my experiences with my friends here and so He can use me to minister to the lost here in Kingston. I was sad to leave Street Church but also excited because I really feel like God has sent me back here with a mission.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Thank you for blessing me in the many ways you have. Art, thank you for being obedient to God and for living for him rather than yourself. Thank you for taking care of me and for not selling me into prostitution. I praise God for the wonderful things He is doing through Street Church, I have never seen anything like it! I have never been involved with a ministry that is doing what Jesus commands us to do, for real. I’ll have to admit, I went to a church with walls a few weeks ago before I left Calgary and it was hard to sit and listen to a sermon because I wasn’t used to it! And the worship, we were singing about freedom but the people were not free, I just wanted to tell everyone that Jesus actually wants us to be free.
I will never forget my summer with Street Church. I learned more and experienced more in Calgary this summer than I did last summer in Tanzania. I will continue to pray for you, your family, Street Church, and Calgary. Pray for me, that God would show me my purpose here and how He is going to use me, whether it is ministering to homeless people or students on my campus. Pray that He would raise up other people with the same calling.
I have already started talking to people about the idea of you coming to visit Kingston to speak. I think it would be really awesome, but we’ll see if it is God’s plan. I put my Jesus is Lord flag on my car but it either fell off or somebody shopping at Wal-Mart stole it. Any chance someone could mail me a new one? Or a bunch, for my friends too?