Friday, November 21, 2014

I Must Believe in Something

I remember working in an office supply warehouse during college.  We would walk up and down the isles filling the orders to fast, pulsating music.  I'm sure they played this to help us keep up a fast pace.  I specifically remember dropping reams of paper and boxes of uniball pens into tubs on the conveyer belt to the sound of Laura Branigan singing "Self-control".  There was a line in there that always made me think: "I must believe in something, so I'll make myself believe it".

That line came rolling back into my mind as I stood in the Zeitgeschichtlichs (Time History) Museum of Leipzig yesterday.  Walking through the museum is a small walk through the history of Eastern Germany (DDR) from the end of WWII to the fall of the Berlin Wall. We went up two flights of stairs and entered double doors into a shadowy hall surrounded by loud German audio clips swirling through the air. I heard leaders yelling their speeches, loud German crowds chanting and then, suddenly in the midst of it all, I heard the strong American voice of Ronald Regan saying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall"!

As we walked through the museum, I was drawn in by the pictures of young soldiers, frozen in time, staring directly at me.  Videos of magnificent, historic churches being imploded and crumbling to the ground like a sandcastle. A mural, strategically placed behind a real tank, of a street packed with demonstrators fleeing in panic as tanks rolled into the city. Then I saw the picture that captured my heart...
I froze in front of it.  I slowly stepped closer as if drawn into the eyes of every one of those young people; drawn into their hopes; drawn into their dreams; drawn into the very promise of a future.  And now, I was living in that future.  Where were they now? Did they still have hope, dreams, a future?

Just then, Jim called me over to a poster...
 Our friend explained that it was an invitation to the Communist induction of young people into the Communist party.  He told us that they had done away with the church confirmation of children and had replaced it with a Socialistic type of confirmation.  They even had the "10 Commandments" of Socialism.
 The commands were such things as #1 - Thou shalt always work for the international solidarity  of the working class and all working people as well as securing the connection of all the socialist countries from destruction. #4 - Thou shalt accomplish good for socialism because socialism leads to a better life for all working people.  #8 - Thou shalt educate your children to be formed to the socialistic spirit of peace, characteristics and physically tempered people.

The Communists knew what we know.  If you can capture the hearts of young people, you can change a country.  Now, back to the phrase of song running through my head, "I must believe in something, so I'll make myself believe it".  The generation during Communist times needed to believe in something, so the government tried to give them something to believe in.  And this present generation of young people?  They must believe in something too, but will it be something that they must "make" themselves believe in, or will it be something that they can truly believe in because it is the truth?  Will we be there when they are asking the questions, when they are looking for meaning, when they are gazing with hope into their future?  THAT is why we are here.  THAT is why we left our home in the U.S.!  The young people need to know that the ONLY TRUE foundation of belief is Jesus Christ. 

 Pray for us as we interact with the young people here, that they will be drawn to true belief.  Pray that we will get the German language quickly so that we can share with them the words of life!  Pray that they will realize that there truly is something worth believing in!

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