Saturday, October 22, 2011

Church Neighbors

The Lord has given us many opportunities to talk and witness to those living around the church.  Many of them are interested, but too superstitious to step foot in our church doors.

A lady named Valentina lives directly across from the church.  After talking with me for a little while, she accepted the Bible I offered her but said she would not come to church because she would be cursed by the Orthodox if she did.  She is also very afraid of the gossip which might be spread about her if she attended.

Tatiana lives next door and has stopped in occasionally.  She dislikes the orthodox priests and wanted another place to go.  When she enters she does a cross over her chest and one time she left some canned goods.  She usually only stays a few minutes to fulfill some religious duty, then leaves.  She has a desire to be religious but is not concerned with the state of her soul.

Last Friday while putting tracts on doors, we met Maria.  She was very excited about our church being here, especially since it was so close to her house.  She had been attending a protestant or charismatic church in the city, but it was hard for her to get to.  She appeared to be sincerely interested in coming but was having some memory loss problems.

Pray that God will defeat the religious superstitions of these people that they might be saved.  Pray for this one woman that God will give her the memory to come out. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Salvation of Slavic!

Thank you all for your prayers concerning this man.  We are thrilled to be able to share with you the news of his salvation. On Friday evening we had our last Bible study.  As we came to the end of the lesson, I asked Slavic if there had ever been a time in his life when he had truly been born again.  He explained that he had gone forward in a charismatic service some years ago.  But as I questioned him concerning his salvation it seemed evident that what he was calling salvation was not what the Bible calls salvation.  As we continued talking he admittedly said even though he claimed this experience as salvation his life never changed.  He still continued in sin and drunkenness and he was even put in jail for stealing.  I then asked him if he wanted to sincerely repent of his sins to turn away from his alcohol and other sins and totally by faith trust Christ as his Savior and follow him the rest of his days. He said that he did.  Then in his own words he asked the Lord to forgive Him of his sins and told the Lord that He would now sincerely try to live for him and serve Him according to His word.

This man has been very quiet through all the lessons, but he seemed sincere in his decision of faith to forsake all and trust in Jesus.  Please pray that he would grow in his faith as we continue to disciple him.  When we all finished praying I went and shook his hand and said now you are my brother.  He lit right up with a big smile.  

God really worked miracles Friday to see this man saved.  Earlier in the day he had attended a party in a nearby village celebrating it's birthday.  He explained how he was offered alcohol many times but refused it because he was taking Bible lessons.  How like Satan it is to present temptations on the day of salvation!  Again, thank you for your prayers.  They do make a difference.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baba Maroosa

This week I'd like to share with you a woman who calls herself Baba Maroosa.  As I was walking one day I met her, talked with her and gave her a tract.  She was surprisingly friendly and open to the gospel.  We did not come in contact with her again until one Sunday morning.  Because our van has been in the shop, we have been walking to church.  On our way, we pass out tracts to those we come in contact with.  Baba Maroosa was on the road and stopped to talk with us because of all of the kids.  When we gave her a tract and invited her to church, she said she would be there.  We continued on our way wondering if she really would come or not.  Church services were almost over and she still had not shown up.  Because Sammy was acting up, Jess took him out for a minute and there sitting on the doorstep was Baba Maroosa!  Jessica told her to come in and sit down.  After that, Baba Maroosa faithfully attended our services.  Jess has also had her over for tea (you can read about that visit here).

Baba Maroosa grew up in a very hard time and is part of the generation known as "a child of war".  She witnessed many things, including the death of her mother.  Because both of her parents were victims of the war, she was raised by her grandmother.  In her eyes, if Christ hadn't already "saved" her she would either be dead or an alcoholic like most of the other children of war.  She also says that she has seen Jesus and Mary, which she claims as proof of salvation.  At the moment, she is not interested in doing Bible lessons.  We are greatly burdened for this woman and pray that God will save her before it is too late.  She is in her 80s.  We recently saw her sitting at a friend's house.  Her face was all bruised and bloody.  They said it just happened because of an illness and she was living with her friend now.  We believe that her drunken son beat her.  She kept telling us that she was just going to die.  Please pray that God will save this woman.  Because of her "condition" she is not coming to church nor does she want us to visit.  We have found that many times when Ukrainians have something wrong with their faces they do not want to be seen and hide themselves away until they are healed.  Pray that God will either quickly heal her or that she will allow us to visit her.  How sad it would be if a bruise kept her from salvation!

Last Bible Lesson

Tonight we will be having the final Bible lesson with Slavic.  Up to this point he has said that he "already knows" everything that we are showing him.  We are asking that you pray for him that he will not rely upon an experience and baptism for his salvation, but only on the blood of Jesus Christ.  Pray that God will show him his need of salvation and for me as I present the last Bible lesson in this salvation series to him.  The lesson will be around 10 AM EST.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That They May See

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."  2 Corinthians 4:4

9 AM Sunday morning on our way to church I began to talk to a man walking towards us, inviting him to church and offering a tract.  He replied he was too busy and even at that early time, was already obviously drunk.  

Not too far behind him was another man.  As we approached he, understanding that "we believers" don't drink, immediately informed us that "it" wasn't for him and he was on his way to buy vodka so he could get drunk.

Returning home after the services we came across another man on the road, so drunk that he wasn't able to walk straight and even fell over once.

Today while I was working on the fence, one of our neighbors stopped by.  In his drunken state, he began talking to me about life telling me that alcohol makes things better.  I began witnessing to him and he asked me to come by with Yuri to talk with him.  (His name is also Yuri.)

Alcohol is one of the devils greatest tools in getting these people to ignore God and His Word.  On numerous occasions, it has been the reason people have not shown up for Bible lessons or come to church as they had promised.

The god of this world has blinded their eyes, making them believe that alcohol makes everything better - life easier to live, so that they have no time or desire to learn about the one who can truly give them the peace they long for.  Please pray that God would work in the hearts of the people of Vvedenka, opening their blinded eyes to the truth that can set them free.

We especially ask that you be praying for the visit with our neighbor Yuri.  Pray that he will still be open to us when we visit him later this week.