Daniela joined an Alpha team in Rotterdam, organised by Navigators and intercultural church plant LIVE! Erasmus. We asked Daniela about her experiences.
- Daniela, tell us something about yourself?
My name is Daniela, I am from Russia. I study management in Saint Petersburg, a senior. I came to Rotterdam in August 2021 for a short period. I had my exchange semester at Erasmus University. Navigators are the reason I was able to miraculously find accommodation for myself, I felt so blessed that I wanted to join them in some of their events and meetings.
- You led an Alpha group, please share how you ended up doing that?
One of the Navigators, Alex Ndemezo (church planter LIVE! Erasmus), asked me if I would like to take up this challenge. I didn’t think much, I just felt like I had to say yes! Thanks to Navigators and their Fun Forest event, I met a girl who immediately became my best friend: Tereza from Slovakia. I invited her to join Alpha and she was the one who stayed in our group till the very end.
- How was your experience? How did you see God working?
This Alpha course ended up being one of the most wonderful experiences in my life. I had a great partner in leading the group, Jasper, so I didn’t have to worry much about the process. I have never led anyone to Christ before. It felt like God was leading us by the hand from the very beginning. The conversations always were very insightful and the questions became more and more intense. There was always unexplainable peace within the group and every time we all were satisfied with both the questions and the answers. At the start of the Alpha, there was no Christian in our small group. In the end, Tereza wrote her first letter to God, and now she is ready to continue her journey as a newcomer to Christ and grows spiritually. I feel responsible to help her with that. I praise the Lord for meeting Tereza and all the people of Navigators in Rotterdam.
- Which lessons did you take back home?
I had to leave Rotterdam eventually and returned to my home country to finish my Bachelor’s degree. It was sad to go, but I will always carry the people I met in my heart and I do hope to meet them again. The most valuable lesson I learned from Alpha is that spreading the Good News is easy and everybody can do that. I will never be afraid of speaking about God with people around me anymore. Also, the group facilitation taught me some great skills in communication and leadership. I hope that God inspires me to do this again at some time. Last but not least, it’s so comforting to have a supportive community of Christians around you. I’m going to miss this!
- What would you say to others who think about organizing an Alpha course?
I know it can be intimidating to arrange something like an Alpha course for the first time. There is a Russian saying that can be translated as “All you need is put one foot in front of the other!” It’s never easy but God always encourages us in all our spiritual endeavors, especially as leading people to salvation. Once you go for it, you will forget the fears and will feel peaceful and led by God all the time. Prayer is very important, so make sure you pray before every Alpha meeting and ask others to pray for you, as such an event is always a spiritual warfare. A good prayer can make you very powerful, so you will forget all your fears. Although the results of the project can be astonishing, the process itself is equally rewarding. Another perk – you will make friendships that may last forever!