Have you ever met someone whose life was completely changed by Jesus? We do sometimes. Once there was a girl, named Catia, who came to Amsterdam for drugs and alcohol until she ran out of money. She came to work as a cleaner in our Christian hostel in Amsterdam. This is where her whole life was changed by Jesus Christ.
Catia came to Amsterdam in November with her good friend. They came with the intention to use drugs and alcohol until their money ran out. By the end of December, they were both sleeping on the streets, with no money and no plans. They heard about the cleaning jobs at the Shelter hostels and applied to be cleaners for January. Shelter City hired Catia’s friend and Shelter Jordan hired Catia.
Catia met God during her first week here. She went from death to life and was completely changed by Jesus. God showed her the need for a Saviour. During the following weeks, all of us as staff were able to pour into her as she grew spiritually and hungered to know more about Him. We were blessed to be able to disciple her and go through the Alpha Course with her. The more she learned about God the more she wanted to know. Everyday she was asking if we could do an Alpha video.
Challenges of being a Christian
As her time at the Shelter came to an end, Catia made the decision to go home to Portugal. Her family and friends do not support her in her decision to live her life for Christ. So going home was not an easy thing to do. I was able to connect her with a church in her city and the pastor was really willing to welcome her into their community. Having this Christian community there to support her has become vital to her as she has encountered many challenges since arriving home.
One of those challenges was the discovery of a brain tumour just a few days after she had arrived home. Through many tests and doctor appointments, Catia’s faith remained firm. She was believing that God was in complete control and she was ready for whatever the outcome. Catia told me that she was able to tell her story to the people in the clinic where she received treatment and wanted to share the hope and peace she had from God. Even during a really challenging time she continued to let the light of Christ shine through her. It was a high risk operation but God brought Catia through and she is now cancer free! Now that she is out of the hospital, she tries to attend church regularly, goes to a weekly bible study, and is pursuing baptism.
There continue to be challenges and struggles, many ups and downs, but we as staff believe that God has great things in store for Catia as she continues to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is”. Eph 3:18