The statement of ex-Camorrista Salvatore sums up all facets of the AVC Annual Event 2023. Some 400 guests attended the June 10 event at Momentum Church Aarau and heard from three international guests about how they had experienced the releasing power of the Gospel in their lives.
Persecution not an obstacle
Layasing de Silva, pastor and AVC-partner, painted a bleak picture of Sri Lanka. The "Pearl of the Indian Ocean" sees itself as a preserver of Buddhism. Increasingly radical and violent action is being taken against Christians who share the Good News with others. "Anyone responsible for turning a Buddhist person to Jesus faces five years in prison, according to the anti-conversion law." But Layasing, who has experienced freedom from drug addiction himself, isn't giving up: "Freedom in Jesus is the best thing we can bring to people!"
For years, Leonora Maloku had served a silent God as a devout Muslim - until, in her greatest despair, someone finally answered her: not Allah, but Jesus. "It seemed to me as if the words in John's Gospel were written especially for me!" Leonora, who grew up in the Kosovo war, learned to forgive, just as she was forgiven. Today, she has Serbian friends who care about the future of the Balkans as much as she does.
Salvatore "Sasà" Raffone captivated the audience with his spectacular liberation from the clutches of the Camorra (Mafia in Naples) and the miracle of the birth of his son. The spark of enthusiasm jumped and expressed itself in liberating worship songs, together with the duo Alessandro Sabato. Very welcome throughout the event were various opportunities for conversation - for example, during the delicious and creative lunch snacks.
Children pray with us
Thanks to the crèche and the children's program, many families came in full formation. Lea Stähli, who looked after the little ones with her friend Jorina, reported: "It was a lot of fun for us and the children!" The older kids - 17 in all - also dealt with the theme of "freedom": the theater "Secret Bible Verses" took them into the world of imprisoned Christians. In the prayer trail, they were able to pray for persecuted peers and taste typical food from the respective countries. Director Marlene Bächler: "Although they hadn't known each other before, the kids grew together and a happy atmosphere developed."
We are already looking forward to the annual event in 2024! Will you be there (again)?