Danielle comes from Israel; she is Jewish and believes in Jesus. That He is the Messiah. She is not a confronting type. She talks carefully and doesn’t push her vision to others. But you can hear she has a strong faith. A trust on Jesus, her Saviour from who she wants to testify. This desire to share the Gospel brings her to Amsterdam, to the Shelter.
She has worked three months at the Shelter. In the garden of the Shelter City I, Gertjan de Jong, asked Danielle if she enjoys her time at the Shelter. ‘Of course! I love the people here. Take by example the management. They are not bossy at all, they are like friends. And I love the ambiance here. People easily feel at home. I often hear that from guests, and I have experienced that myself too.’
People feel easily at home here
‘It is not about my activities, but it’s about God. That’s what I noticed in the Shelter. He is the One Who saves, not me. Before I start a conversation with a guest, I often pray: “Lord, do you want to show something of the Gospel through me? If You want they will come to a life change.” I can not bring people to faith, but if I open myself to God, He can use me. I can share the Gospel with people. But it is good to remember that we are fishermen, not hunters.’
Love excludes fear
‘In one of my reception shifts the first week, a group of youth entered. They came from Israel, so I could speak with them in my own language. For them it was pretty weird that a Jewish girl from Israel was working behind the reception of a Christian hostel! We had a good conversation. I believe that God has lead this.’
Danielle has been grown up in a Jewish, Messianic confessing family. You can say: ‘We are after Jesus, not after rabbi’s.’
‘In my environment there are just a few people who follow Jesus. It is black or white. Or you live for Jesus with whole your heart, or you don’t care about Him. No, I don’t feel isolated. But I feel myself often different than the rest. I also have a few Christian friends, but I also have a lot of friends that are thinking very different than me.’
About four years ago I made a conscious decision to follow Jesus. ‘I noticed that nothing in this world can make me happy or can give me satisfaction than Jesus alone. Since then I often experience that Jesus often speak to me. Often through the Bible. I now feel a big desire to share the Gospel with others.
In my environment there are just a few who follow Jesus
‘A verse that has meant a lot in my Shelter time is 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” When you try to serve others or to testify about Jesus, it is good to look honest to yourself. Am I doing this out of fear or out of love? Fear can be very deep. Think by example about the fear of other people. How do they see me? What do they think about me?. If you are fulfilled with God’s love, fear will get at the background.’
A lot of Christians are coming to Israel to do volunteer work, because Israel is the land of God. I also longed to serve somewhere and to testify about Jesus. I knew the Shelter by a woman in my neighborhood, she worked there ten years ago. And two of my friends has also done volunteer work. I applied. God encouraged me to go to the Shelter and made my heart ready.
For youth in Israel there is a military duty. Girls has to go for two years in the army and guys for three years. Danielle has fulfilled her military duty of two years by playing in a military band, on clarinet. ‘With the military band we went to play at several parliament ceremonies and other official celebrities. A difficult time? Actually it wasn’t such a hard period. But spiritually I have experienced it as a dessert period. I still could go to church and meet other Christian friends, but the biggest part of the day you live together with non-Christian friends. It was a challenge. The first time in my life that I really was alone with God. It wasn’t easy, but I am thankful for the time in the army. My faith has become stronger.’
Remain in me
Jesus tells in John; ‘Remain in Me’. The last time I have notices how important this is. Here in Amsterdam you can see that people search there satisfaction in partying, drugs and alcohol. But also for me there is the temptation to find my luck in many other things. In coziness, in christian friends, working and serving. In itself these things aren’t wrong. It is good to serve, to have fellowship with friends. But it isn’t the base. The base is Jesus. To love Him above anything else. That is the great commandment. The enemy knows that too. To love Jesus can be a struggle.
Only Jesus can give me real fulfillment
‘My future plans? In October I move to Jerusalem to study social work. Yes, I think for sure that I will miss the Shelter. I already miss it! But it is good. God cares.’