Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Lessons

Today we had a Bible lesson with Vladamir. Tatiana did not come to services or to the lesson. Vladamir has a very hard time with the fact that all sinners are the same before they get saved. A "good" man without Jesus has the same fate as a murderer. We studied the 10 commandments today and by the end of it he said that he definitely would go to hell. He still wants to justify himself though. We were surprised how alert and attentive he was. He wanted to argue after discussing each commandment. It was a lively lesson! PLEASE be praying that God will work upon his heart and bring him to salvation.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stories of Salvation

Wednesday night was our last night with Elena. At the end of the lesson, Eric had Elena draw a time line. (when she was born, when she started school, when she started her first job, etc.). He then asked her if there was ever trusted Jesus. She pointed back to when she went to a charismatic church. She said that she had repented of her sins and believed in Jesus Christ to save her. She quickly got side tracked, though, so Eric then clearly expounded the gospel unto her and asked her again if there was a time when she had gotten saved according to the Bible. She pointed once again to the time at the charismatic church. Her testimony seems sound and we believe that she is saved, she just has very little knowledge of the Bible because of all the different churches she has been in. Pray for her to grow and to continue to attend services even though we questioned her.

Thursday night started out hectic and we clearly felt Satan trying to hinder the lesson from getting started. It took forever to finally get everyone to sit down. Christina ran out to do dishes, Max was running back and forth, Lydia and Anna were a little fussy, but finally we got settled. As soon as we sat down, a young man walked in, very proud and scornfull. Eric told him we could give him a Bible and one of the lesson books if he was interested. He snickered and said no. We asked him if he would like to sit in for the lesson, he again snickered and said no. He stood there for a little while, then sat down by Christina (we later found out that he was trying to get her to go outside and smoke with him). He eventually left, but Christina sat away from the group until Eric asked her to move in closer. When the lesson was finished, Eric had Yuri leave so he could talk just to Christina. He asked her if she was saved. She said no. Eric then asked her if she would like to get saved. Christina said, of course, BUT I'm too bad a sinner. I can't get saved. No one in the village will talk to me and they call me crazy because of all that I've done. Eric then shared with her Romans 10:13 "For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED." "What did that say Christina," he said. "It said whosoever. We are not any better than you without Jesus. We are all sinners. Look at some of the men in the Bible who got saved. Moses was a murderer. David was a fornicator and a murder. Paul murdered Christians." He then had Lina share her testimony with Christina. At the end, Christina was ready and repented of her sins, trusting only in Jesus Christ to save her.

Christina then left the room and Yuri came in (I left the room also to go fellowship with our new sister in Christ). Eric had Yuri pull out his time line. He asked him if there was a time when he had trusted Jesus as his Saviour. Yuri pointed to a time when he was in prison. He heard music, then a "whoosh" came over him and he had a glowing around his head. "Is this BIBLICAL salvation, Yuri," Eric asked. Yuri said that it wasn't, but still tried to justify it. Eric then brought him to Acts 10 and talked to him about Cornelius. The Bible says that he was "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." Eric explained that Cornelius believed in God but he wasn't saved until Peter shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Him, because it is only through Jesus that you can be saved. Eric finished sharing a few more scriptures with Yuri and then he asked him, "Yuri do you really have Biblical salvation." He said "No, but I want to be saved. And I want to be saved according to the Bible." Yuri then in prayer repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus as the only way to get to heaven.

As you can imagine, there were many tears and much rejoicing in that little house Thursday night! We did not get home until about 1 o'clock in the morning!

Please continue to pray for them as they have much growing to do. Yuri and Christina are not married, but are living together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The last week has been an exciting and full week. Bible lessons on Wednesday and Thursday. Evangelism on Friday. Church on Sunday with Bible lessons following. Praise the Lord He keeps us busy. This is actually a pretty normal week for us. Though we need and desire your prayers every week and day, we are especially asking that you be praying with us today (Wednesday) and on Thursday. We will be finishing up Bible lessons with Elena today. She claims to be saved, but I have not heard her testimony. I believe she may simply be religious. Also, Yuri and Christina will be finishing their Bible lessons on Thursday. Christina doesn't claim Christianity but Yuri claims to be saved. Every time he shares anything remotely close to a testimony it doesn't line up with what the Bible calls salvation. Please pray for these three as we finish Bible lessons. The Bible lessons are very pointed and they bring a person to a point where they must make a decision. All have paid very close attention to the Bible lessons. Please pray that God would allow them to get saved.

Also we asked you to pray for a lady named Tatiana. On Sunday she came to church again. As we closed the services she saw that Vladimir was going to take Bible lessons and was interested in staying and taking them with him. When we finished she said it was very interesting and that she wanted to continue lessons. Please pray for both her and Vladimir. They are both religious, but I don't believe either one of them is saved. Right now they are only at thee beginning of their Bible lessons, so please pray for them every Sunday as we continue to expound the Scriptures to them concerning salvation that they might truly get saved.Elena
Christina & Yuri

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prayer Letter

City Church
In our last letter we had mentioned having a Resurrection service. We had everything almost ready and were just getting ready to print out our invitations when our translator said that she and her husband would be gone that week. (Her husband is not told when his vacations will be until right before he gets one.) So, without our translator, our special service was canceled. We still had regular services on Sunday, which Pasha translated for, and regular Wednesday night prayer meeting, which we held without a translator. Elena is still coming to the Wednesday meeting and we will soon finish Bible lessons with her. Pray that she will make a decision for Christ. Also her son, Ivan, has stopped coming since he found a job, but we are still hoping to do Bible lessons with him as well. Pasha's mom, Ludmilla, also has not come for a while. Her employers are now wanting her to work 7 days a week. When she does get a Sunday off, she mentions coming, then doesn't because it's her only day off. And lastly, we have started Bible lessons with an older gentleman named Vladamir. He has been attending our church since we got here, but when I asked him about his salvation he told me what he knew about the Bible and that he was a good person. Pray that GOd will open his eyes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we share the scriptures with him. PLEASE continue to pray for all of these people.

Village Bible Study
Due to Lina being gone and an injury of Yuri's, Bible lessons in the village were canceled a couple times. We still went out to visit and help him during that time. He almost cries every time that we leave. At this last lesson, only Yuri and Christina were there. We were actually not even expecting Christina, but were pleasantly surprised to see her. She was very attentive and asked many questions. Pray for us during this time. Yuri's testimony is very unclear, and Christina does not claim to be a Christian. Please pray that Yuri and Christina will make a decision for Christ as we get ready to finish the Bible lessons in the next 3 weeks.

The Bible study is every Thursday evening at 6 PM (11 AM EST).

Visas & Registration
We experienced much trying of our faith on our trip to Poland as both girls were sick and Anna had stomach cramps the whole 12 hour trip. We seriously thought that we would have to take her to the hospital in Poland, but praise the Lord she recovered quickly after we arrived and the rest of the trip went well. We received our visas without any problems, and when we returned hoome, our registration as well. Our rental contract runs out in June, so we need to register again by the end of June, so please continue to pray for us concerning this.

Family & Language
I and both the girls seem to be in good health and Anna is no longer coughing, but Jessica still has a bad cough. The doctor said she has Bronchitis. Please pray that GOd would allow her to get better soon as many times she coughs all night. We are also looking to buy or rent a house in the village to help with both the girls and Jessica's health. The city is very polluted and I know it contributes to their health problems. So please pray that God would provide a place for us in the village.
As for the language, we have been able to converse a little more freely, though we still have our tough days when nothiing comes out right. It is exciting to see some progress though.
Also, we had requested prayer concerning thieves in our area. Thankfully we haven't had any problems with thieves the past two months. Thank you so much for your prayers concerning this.

Thank you for your faithful support of finances and prayer for our ministry.

"...Immediately we endeavored to go...assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." Acts 16:10