Red Lights Of Amsterdam – And The Brazilian I Owe This Too

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I have made it to Amsterdam, but it was freezing cold here when I met my dear friend Thiago Ribeiro Do Nascimento from Brazil. In fact it was so cold, that he had to flee to a warmer place like Barcelona right the next day for reasons of survival. We spent the only day we had together in fast food restaurants to keep us warm with burgers from the inside and Thiago took about 3000 pictures (well, thank you for this one!) of the frozen river and the ice scating kids.

I was offered a place at a youth hostel in the Red Light district for 30$ per night, but I quickly decided, that my provider never lets me pay for a place to stay or for a bed and within the same day He found me a nice and comfy room on Halvemaansteeg, where I now live with two lovely Brazilian families plus the electric heater is staying right next to my bed.

You can actually drag the Google street View and take a stroll through my neighborhood.

Thiago too got a present before he left for Spain that night and it was a Roland keybord for the worship team of the church he is ministering to in Barcelona. Somebody had a spare one laying around and blessed my musical brother with it. We stood around the instrument and sang and played some songs together. The Lord had it, that Thiago picked a synthesized tune, that had chirping birds in the background, but he did not know, that I was having these birds sing for real to me just that day when I arrived at Amsterdam at noon time outside of McDonalds.

McDonald's Amsterdam Damrak 8 (Netherlands)

So while I was waiting on my friend whom I had not seen for 4 years I enjoyed the sun in my face and I watched the birds feed on burger crumbs and I was asking myself:

“What am I doing here and why did I pick Amsterdam as my new place to life? Do I actually know anything? Can this work out since I have nothing prepared here? ”

The Lord just answered with the chirping birds and I understood that He told me not to worry, because even these birds are fed in the middle of winter without ever sowing or reaping. That was a warm promise, but after I was hooked up with a room free of rent in the heart of the city and after I knew, that I was living together with brothers and sisters and that God keeps his promises I had another moment.

The chirping birds suddenly came back on Thiago’s keybord “by accident” as we were worhiping together enjoying one day of friendship again. God tuned in as we tuned into him and he was just reminding me, that He is able to provide and with the music he let me know again how much He loves me and how much he loves to surprize me with families and houses and children and friends

with persecutions

and that drove tears into my eyes and thankfulness into my heart big time.

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,

with persecutions,

and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
(Mar 10:29-31)

I see an emphasis here on “persecutions”, meaning that in the midst of our trials and struggles he will still bless us with all that we need plus actual family and true brethren and places to live in and children to care for.

Then on top of that He will let the same sparrows chirp out of an old keybord just to tell you, that you are so much more worth than any of those.

He will walk you to the edge, but never a step further and the only reason for that is to teach you to NOT FEAR, weather it be lack or desperation or any other evil.

Please read the sermon on the mount again and learn how we are not allowed to worry about anything. Let us be these birds and not care about live or getting busy with making piles for protecting us against worse times.

Thank you Lord for teaching me to have faith like a child doess!

Peter James

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