I rode this overnight train through the Russian boarder, the Ukrainian border and finally to Kiev.
We aren’t in Kansas any more, Toto! I now live in a great big city with a metro. It reminds me of Chicago. Please pray for my settling in and any culture shock I will experience.
Leaving the comfortably crowded kitchen I looked around in the main room for a place to have my lunch today. Every Sunday after church my church family has lunch together because we miss each other so much we just don’t want to leave after the 2 pulse hour service.
As I looked around for someone I can “practice” on I spotted a few ladies I felt very comfortable with across from someone I had never met. I sat down next to the stranger and did not say excuse me even though I made here move over a little. ( I hear it’s annoying how often Americans say excuse me.) After taking a few bites and listening to conversations I realized the woman next to me was not talking with the women across from us. So, after practicing it and fixing the phrase a few times in my head I said, “let’s meet, I’m Amanda, what’s your name?” “Nina,” she said and told me she was from a different oblast and was visiting friends in this city. Our conversation continued and I learned she had a SMALL church in her city, 11 people 10 babushka and her…! Wow!!
Can I just stop here and ask you all to just stop here, get on your knees! Literally! Get down on your knees! And pled to The Lord for the MEN of Russia that He will fill his church will men!! “Set them free from their sin and give them new life. Give us leaders for Your church and build Your church in Russia. Provide men to mentor, teach and model the love and grace of God!”
So Nina and I sat and talked for quite a while. We only asked for help twice but it was good because then I got to introduce her to some other people. After she left two of my friends came over to me and said, “who is she?” And I told them.
Every conversation I have I am usually in shock/overjoyed that it just happened! It’s pretty exciting. Please pray for Nina. I didn’t get any contact info from her but really want to visit her city and encourage her in anyway I can!
So then, my little friends from my small group began to tap my back and run away. We started playing and teasing each pitcher until their mom told them to sit still. (Oops)
I just love Susha and Matve! We can’t talk much but you don’t need many words to tickle, draw, or make faces with!!
Today was an even deeper glimpse into the needs of the church here. I want to be on a church planting team but I, as a woman, am not given the responsibility to shepherd a church. I know I can work on a church planting team but we need men!! Please continue to pray with me that God will continue to raise up men to sacrifice everything and serve him with their lives!
And to any men that read this and have the slightest pull in their heart, Act On It!!! Go before the Lord see what He says.
Dear prayer warriors,
I must tel of the mercies of The Lord. I must tell you what He has done. When I wrote two days ago and went to bed many of you were in the middle of your day and began brining me before the throne of God above. I truly believe than through your prayers God saw me and began to sooth my spirit giving me peace even as I slept. Maybe you would think, “oh, we’ll you felt better when you woke up because you got a good night sleep.” I must explained that this was not the case! I did not get much sleep, going to bed late getting up early. Maybe you think, it was the sun shining in my window… Like the day before and the one before that when I woke up with a discouraged additive. No it was not the sun. Maybe you would say that it was the rest from Russian that recharged my brain to help me during my lesson early that morning. Defiantly not! I had no break from Russian and no time to do my homework! So what did I wake up with hope and joy in my heart? Why did I get many of the endings correct when I talked with my teacher? Why did I understand my lesson better this time?? The Lord my God heard your prayers for my troubled spirit and answered them! I can not take any credit for making good decisions or just deciding to be happy or anything. The Lord God softened my heart and gave me grace! Thank you my Lord! I bless your Holy Name! I will tell everyone I know about the awesome work you do!
I also want to make it very clear that I have a wonderful teacher who is very good at what she does. She does not put me down or belittle me! I said she responds in a belittling way sometimes but that is not her intention!! It is me feeling that way because of her tone of voice or the words she uses. But that is just how Russian works. It is just something I am not used to. I know it but it’s hard to convince myself not to be offended when I am tired and frustrated. Anyway, I don’t want you to think she is abusive in any way!! She is wonderful. Today was women’s day, a big holiday here. No one works today but I still had a lesson because we really want to finish the book we are working through before I go to Ukraine. My teacher brought me a candy bar 🙂 and not just any old chocolate bar, this was high quality chocolate. She is so sweet!
So in summery, I am so thankful for all of you, God is good all the time, and I have a wonderful language teacher! :
Okay, everybody has them. They come and go and sometimes stick around until you kick them out. Well I am just having a stinking rotten day!! But it’s over now so I have so much to look forward to tomorrow except that I already feel very behind tomorrow and it hasn’t even started yet have a very rotten attitude (like everyone has at times) but I have something special that not many people have, all of you so ready and willing to pray for me. I don’t want to be real about this at all!! But I need your prayers so I must tell you.
Please please please pray that God will change my attitude. Please please pray that I will not fear men or try and live up to their expectations for me, or my expectations for me. Please please pray that it will not shrink in my insides when my language teacher responds in belittling surprise that I got every word wrong in my sentence for the hundredth time. Please pray that I will love and respect her even when I’m frustrated and even mad about how little I remember or get right. Please please pray that I will run to my Father and be still, knowing that He is God.
“Why are you in despaired oh my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the God of my countenance and my God!!” Psalm 42
Today my team mates, David and Alesia were back from a month in the States. It was so good to see them in Church and to have choir rehearsal again (David is our choir director). But I am doubly blessed by their return because I moved in with them yesterday. 🙂 I will no longer be living along! This Ukrainian family speaks Russia and hopefully I will learn language and culture from my two week stay with them. I moved out of the apartment I was staying in because it belonged to our teammates, the Garrisons, and they were due to come back today.
Please pray for them, they are having trouble with documents and can not cross the border at this time! They have three little ones so pray for this unsettled time for them as well.