Comforting Those Who Mourn – August 2007 – Part 2

Update from Russia
August 6th, 2007

Is anything too difficult for YHWH? ‚   ‚   (Genesis 18:14)

7/30/07, Monday: For the kids” English lesson today, only Mairbek came ” “ and that was actually a great blessing, as The Lord opened up a few times to share about Him personally with Mairbek (an 11 year old survivor of the school massacre, who lost his mom there). God gave me an opportunity to tell how Jesus has changed me, and also to tell about the Exodus story. In our English lesson, we are reading through John 6, and we read about how God provided Manna for His people in The Old Testament ” “ we also read in Russian so the kids can understand what they”re reading” ¦ but even in Russian, Mairbek asked me what ” ˜Manna” was. And so The Lord gave the opportunity to share how God delivered His people, and provided for them even in the desert. I was shocked that he really had no clue about this story ” “ but then again, we”re seeing the same thing even in the US now with so many kids growing up without even knowing of Moses, Daniel, and the other Biblical heroes so well known. As we walked together after the lesson, I was also shocked at another thing, though perhaps quite small. One time in the recent past, we were walking together when we came to a point where there”s this overhead pole leaning against another ” “ sort of like an upside-down “V.”  Anyways, the last time Mairbek was surprised that I didn’t leave the path to walk around it, but instead I walked under it” ¦ he, as many here do, believed that doing so would bring bad luck, like walking under a ladder or what have you. So, to illustrate how nonsensical that was, I repeatedly hopped forward and backward under the pole a few times and told him that that superstition was nonsense. Today, when we came to that same point, he walked with me under the leaning pole. Perhaps a small victory, but I hope The Lord is helping Mairbek to break free from the many stupid and shackling superstitions so widely embraced here.

7/31/07, Tuesday: In the evening I visited with Amiran, a 13 year old boy who was a hostage with his mom and only sibling/brother during the terrorist attack. Amiran and his mom, Zifa, both survived; Amiran’s brother, Sasha, did not. I gave Amiran Everyday Process’ CD ” “ he really likes rap, and Everyday Process is a Christian rap group that boldly preaches Jesus and they’re very talented in how they do it. For those looking for good Jesus-preaching CDs to pass on to the youth that you know, check out Everyday Process as well as Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Cross Movement, Flame, Shai Lynn, Lampmode Records, and so forth. These are cats who love Jesus and represent Him well through their words and rap music; may The Lord bless them and use them for His glory!

8/1/07, Wednesday: Went to the AM fellowship ” “ several grandmas there saw my Ossetian New Testament, and asked where to get one. I said I’d bring some for them, as one of the fellowships in Vladkavkz has tons. Worked more on the new music CD; later in the evening, one of my young students stopped by with her friend. Madina had been away for about a month, and she returned and wanted to say hi. I think she’s about 10, and she brought me a new notebook and a picture she had painted as presents. (Madina, and her mom were both hostages, and by God’s grace, they both survived.)

8/3/07, Friday: At the internet club, I read about how a video which was filmed during the Bsln massacre was ” ˜mysteriously’ sent to the Mother’s of Bsln. One of my prayer warriors wrote and asked me about this, and so I want to share some about this as many of you also may have seen the headlines which made international papers. Basically, there are two opinions about what started the massive and fatal battle on the third day of the hostage crisis here ( September 3, 2004 ) ” “ one view says that the terrorists themselves began detonating their bombs, and so the Russian military responded and attacked the school. The other view says that the Russian forces first fired and started the attack themselves, and therefore are responsible for the extremely high number of casualties. The government’s version is that the terrorists started the attack, and so the Russian forces responded to try and save the hostages. ‚  The vast majority of Bsln, however, believes the second view: that the government actually triggered the battle, and therefore bear a large part of the blame. The video that recently made headlines was apparently filmed by the Russian forces, and has sparked the debate back into the spotlight. People are asking why this video was mysteriously mailed almost three years after the attack, and want to know why it was kept secret for so long. The video is said to cast much more doubt over the view that the terrorists began the explosions ” “ those who have seen it say it is further proof that the initial explosions were not from the inside (from the terrorists), but rather from the outside. If you are interested you can see the video online by doing some searching, or I can send you some links I found. ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚  ” ¦Nahzee (the grandma I live with) has several fruit trees, and I helped her today to gather apples and plums. ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚  ” ¦Later taught young George and his cousins (George survived the attack, but lost his mom, dad, only brother/sibling, and grandma in that nightmare.) I sat and talked some with George’s uncle, Genna ” “ Genna and his family now take care of George since his parents were killed in the attack. Genna said that a person is born on this earth only to suffer, and Yah gave me a brief time to share about hope in God/Jesus. I told him how I don’t trust any man, not even myself” ¦ on this earth, there’s nothing but deceit. Genna said that was right; I proceeded to tell him about Nahzee and all she’s been through, and how amazing it is that she has hope inside ” “ real life. (Nahzee was orphaned at a young age. She later lost her husband at a pretty young age, and had to raise their four kids alone. She lost her youngest son in the Georgian/Ossetian conflict, and later moved to Bsln as a refugee to try and live a normal life here. And then after several years, Nahzee lost her granddaughter Sofia here in the Bsln terrorist attack. In spite of all this, Nahzee is an amazingly strong believer who has trust in God no matter what she sees here on this earth. Oh that YHWH would give Nahzee her own TV program to teach all the “faith”  teachers the real ‚  definition of faith.) ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ” ¦Later in the evening, I visited with Alla and Soslan (who lost their younger son, Timur, in the Bsln massacre). I gave Alla the card a friend from the USA had sent her (hi Peggy!) and the translated letter. Alla said how pleasant it was to know that people remembered them, and how sincerely thankful they are that people still pray for them.

8/4/07, Saturday: I found out that one of the Bsln preachers, named Aslan, has cancer and has been quite sick ” “ please pray for him. (This is a different Aslan than the Pastor who had requested English materials. Names like Aslan, Soslan, Madina, and so forth are very common names here.) ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚   ‚  ” ¦The Lord helped me put together a plan for a weekend outreach, perhaps in mid/late September. Please keep this in your prayers, as I hope to present this to the two main fellowships I’m involved with ” “ pray that The Lord touches their hearts to want to reach out to the local communities through these proposed ideas if that’s God’s will.

8/5/07, Sunday: After the AM fellowship, I helped Nahzee again outside in gathering fruit. ‚  This was a lot of work, but was also quite fun since it gave me a chance to revert to the monkey I used to be when I was a little kid and loved to climb trees! I got to climb trees, scale the roof, and use a very tall ladder which has just enough movement in it to make things more interesting! One of the not-quite-so-fun moments was when I was on the roof of Nahzee’s big shed, trying to get the apples that were high above me ” “ for this sort of thing, one uses a rake or other instrument to grab and tug the ends of the branches in order to shake the fruit lose. I was in the process of doing so, and was successfully liberating many apples from their branches’ bonds when – BAM! An apple fell and bashed me directly in my right eye! To His praise there was no blood flow, nor did I fall off the roof” ¦ but just that minute or so nauseating feeling one gets when being smacked in the face, combined with the wonderment of trying to figure out what just happened to you. But after those first few minutes of pain and surprise, it sure makes for a funny story!

Please pray for:

  • Nahzee, who just went to South Ossetia (in modern Georgia ) ” “ pray for safety, and Yah’s blessing on His church there;
  • Genna, to find hope and meaning in Jesus Christ;
  • Jesus to refresh and strengthen Pastor Taimuraz and his family;
  • God to heal Aslan, who has cancer;
  • Mairbek, who’s on vacation ” “ ask that The Lord would give him a safe and refreshing trip, and that He would speak to him through the beauty of His creation;
  • the outreach plans, as well as the new CD I’m working on;
  • Madina, my English student and friend who lost her brother in the attack” ¦ she’ll be starting college soon, and I sense she’s wrestling with lots of the emotions that go along with that as well as with that age ” “ please ask Jesus to show her how much He loves her, and that she will pour out her heart to Him.

Thank you as always for your many prayers, emails of encouragement, and help in supporting me to serve Him in missions. I was recently reflecting on how ” “ as His Word says ” “ if we take delight in YHWH, He gives us the desires of our hearts. It is such a blessing for me to be involved in missions, and I thank Him so much for giving me the desires of my heart. Delight yourself in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)! The Lord has been More Than Gracious to me, and thank you for joining with me in His service! All the honor and glory be unto The One Who has no equal!

The LORD Is Faithful and Good,

[email protected]

Is anything too difficult for YHWH? ‚   ‚   (Genesis 18:14)

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