Comforting Those Who Mourn – August 2007 – Part 4
Know God, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing soul. For YHWH searches every heart, and He understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He”ll let you find Him. But if you forsake Him, He”ll reject you forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9)
8/20/07, Monday: English lessons today” ¦ One of the ladies in the adult group told me about how things were here during the terrorist attack, and about Pastor Taimuraz (who lost four of his five children in the school massacre). On the second day of the attack (September 2, 2004), many were gathered in a park near the school ” “ they weren’t permitted to be closer. The brothers and sisters from the fellowship were together there, as was my student and Pastor Taimuraz. She said that Taimuraz said something to the effect of, “I believe God will protect my children. But no matter what, I will serve Him.” Man, that is faith” ¦ I also read (from a sister’s posting on thirstnomore.org) that Taimuraz overheard his young (and only) son Boris praying the night before the terrorist attack. Boris prayed that all the Ossetian people would come to know Jesus; Taimuraz was shocked at the seriousness of the prayer (Boris was a young boy, only 8 years old or so). The next day, Boris, along with his four sisters, were held hostage for three days in School No. 1’s gymnasium. Boris, the youngest child and only boy, was killed, along with three of his sisters. Only Madina, the second oldest girl, survived.
8/21/07, Tuesday: Visited Marianna, a young girl who survived the terrorist attack. Her hearing was severely damaged from all she suffered there, and she still needs another operation on her left ear and maybe on her right one as well. Marianna still has shrapnel within, which they can’t remove because of how deeply it’s implanted” “ for the most part, it doesn’t bother her, but it’s painful when she rides a bike. Marianna’s 12, and will be entering the 7th grade this year. Her favorite subject is Russian, and she wants to become a Russian teacher when she’s older. ” ¦I then went across the street and visited another family ” “ the mom and her three daughters were all hostages during the attack. By God’s grace, they all survived ” “ however, the oldest daughter, Diana, is now wheelchair-bound as a result of the injuries she received there. (See attached photo.) Diana just graduated from high school this summer, and she’ll be taking a 5-year internet course to become an economist, through a Moscow College’s distance-learning course. The Lord blessed us all to have a very nice visit, and besides giving them two CDs of mine, I was blessed to give Joni’s two books to Diana; I told her that Joni wanted to encourage her that with God’s help, everything is possible. Pray that Yah uses Joni’s two books to touch Diana’s heart, & draw her unto Him!
8/22/07, Wednesday: AM Fellowship in the morning. Later in the day I helped Nahzee some outside, and I climbed a tree and then hopped on the roof to help gather pears from our pear tree. In the past, when gathering apples, she had told me to shake the branches to loosen the ones out of my reach. But today, she wanted to stand under the tree and hold a tablecloth to catch the pears so they wouldn’t be damaged when they hit the ground. She went to look for another helper among our neighbors, and she didn’t return very fast. So I, being the young and often ” ˜too-impulsive-to-wait’ person that I can be, decided I’d go ahead and work on shaking loose the pears that were out of my reach. I was quite successful in doing so, but later got a decent chewing out after Nahzee returned, since I hadn’t waited for her, and many of the pears were damaged. L A stupid move of mine, indeed. ” ¦In the evening, I went to my friend Vova’s apartment to celebrate his birthday. It was a blessed time, and please pray for him and his family ” “ Vova is in his early twenties (I think he turned 24), and he accepted Jesus around 2 years ago or so. He’s a great kid, and has true passion to walk rightly with The Lord. Not said as prophecy or anything, but I believe that The Lord will use Vova in the ministry in the future. He really seems to have the right heart, and he’s a very sincere brother.
8/23/07, Thursday: English and guitar lessons” ¦ In the evening, I went to visit my friend Batik and his family. A brother in The Lord, Gabriel, sent Chuck Missler’s “Learn The Bible in 24 Hours” DVD set to give to Pastor Aslan, who had requested English Christian materials (thanks Gabriel!); Batik’s family knows a worker with the post office, and so they usually pick up my packages and then call and let me know. Batik and his mom and dad are very genuine believers, and we had a good visit. Batik and I later watched a movie, a film which really spoke to my heart. (Those of you who know me well know that I very rarely watch movies or TV ” “ not out of legalism, but just because so much of what the media produces is nonsense, stupid, and shows us lifestyles which we – as believers – know we are not to imitate. You know what I mean? It’s just that the majority of what I see in movies and on TV leave me afterwards with a feeling of remorse, saying in my heart, “That was sooooo stupid: i just threw away two hours of my life, which I’ll never have again!” ) Anyways, this film had a lot of meaning and it was surprisingly good. It wasn’t perfectly Christian, but this movie helped me realize and remember several spiritual truths. The movie portrayed a high school girl who was very different – a believer, and quite old-fashioned. She was a girl that was different, and she genuinely didn’t care about what anyone thought of her. She knew who she was and what she believed, and she lived her life accordingly. She wound up falling in love and so forth, but I won’t give all the plot away. The movie helped remind me that, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am different. And as she fell in love, and just wanted to be together with her boyfriend, it reminded me of how i love Jesus so much. I’m not saying that I love Him perfectly, but I think all you seekers out there know what I’m talking about: the feeling of just wanting to be with Jesus, and the realization that He Is ” “ and must always be ” “ your First Love. The longer I walk with The Lord, I realize that my heart’s ambition is simply to try and love Him, and to finish my life faithful to Him ” “ and then to be forever with Jesus. Those are the true desires of my heart, though I often fall and fail. The film just reminded me of what is means to be in love; and specifically, of our personal love first and foremost for Jesus. He Is our Everything, and we ought not to care at all what other people think of us.
8/24/07, Friday: Helped to gather pears (in the correct and approved method)! Taught little George and his cousins (George, who lost all his family in the attack, though he himself survived). Gave them some small gifts my friend Peggy had sent ” “ they, and I, thank you Peggy!
8/25/07, Saturday: We had our English class in Vladikvkz today, and The Lord blessed our lesson and time together. We finished going through Psalm 23, and we also discussed what kind of music we listen to, what kind of movies and shows we watch, and so forth. Some of the kids there often ask me about popular American songs’ lyrics – and today, we also talked about some of the popular TV shows here. They (just as other Christian kids around the world) have trouble trying to find their identity in an ungodly world, as well as in judging rightly between what is beneficial and what is not. (Not that we as adults have mastered those subjects, but of course it’s much more difficult for youth between the ages of 10 to 22 or so.) The Lord gave us some fruitful discussion time” ¦ i think the key is not to ask what is simply ” ˜permissible,’ but rather, “what’s beneficial?” Paul discussed that already of course, so I’m not claiming some new revelation or something. Whether young or old, we need to examine what we’re feeding our minds and eyes; yes, that may sound rather ” ˜puritanish,’ especially in our church culture which overstresses our freedom in The Lord. But I believe we would do our society, and even more so, our own souls, much good to truthfully examine what we listen to and watch. ” ¦After returning to Bsln in the evening, I went and visited Amiran and his mom, Zifa. They both were hostages during the attack, along with Amiran’s only sibling/brother. Tragically, Amiran’s brother (Sasha) did not survive. Amiran is about 14, and is heading back to Moscow to begin this new school year’s studies there; several survivors of the Bsln terrorist attack now study in Moscow.
8/26/07, Sunday: AM fellowship. Afterwards had lunch with Nahzee, and two sisters from the fellowship stopped by and visited with us. Nahzee recounted how families had to identify their dead after the school massacre, and I can’t even begin to imagine having to do something as painful as that. Many of the bodies were charred beyond recognition, and that is the last visual memory some have of their dead loved ones. I don’t mention all that for ” ˜shock effect,’ but just to remind us of the reality that these people live with, especially as the third year anniversary approaches (September 1-3).
Please pray for:
- My brother and friend Bob’s mother, who will be having surgery soon (she has large tumors on her liver which are very painful);
- Marianna (12 years old), who still needs an ear operation due to injuries received from the terrorist attack;
- The grieving families of Bsln – the third anniversary of the school massacre is this Saturday-Monday (September 1-3), and so those who lost loved ones will once again be reminded of all the evil their loved ones’ suffered. For believers & unbelievers alike, this is an especially hard time of the year;
- Sunday’s Church Service ” “ the Baptist fellowship is having a special service this Sunday, hoping to have many victims’ families attend and hear God’s Word;
- My friend, Oleg, and his wife Madina ” “ pray for Oleg’s safe and successful trip to Vancouver, where his wife is already living. Oleg is a believer, and he’s a great lover of Israel;
- All our children’s safety as kids head back to school. Not too long ago, i read an article about Pakistan providing extra security at English schools there, fearing that some might try to do a Besln there. And if I recall correctly, our soldiers recovered diagrams of US schools that they confiscated from terrorists in Iraq ” “ lest we be so na ƒ ¯ve as to think such tragedy ” ˜could never happen to us.’ May such a terrible attack never again be, but we must be vigilant, and understand the evil times in which we live. Who would have guessed that terrorists could successfully attack the Pentagon, the center of the military intelligence of the USA? But as we know this side of 9/11, such an attack is more than possible. I write this not to strike fear into anyone, but to remind us to be alert and realize we aren’t living in ” ˜the good old days’ anymore. And especially to those of you who are parents, I strongly recommend that you meet with your children’s school authorities, and ask specific questions about their protection policies” ¦ if they don’t have any, The Lord may use you to help bring such protective measures about. No one thought terrorists would crash into our military headquarters” ¦ no one could have guessed that more than 30 muslim terrorists could seize a school in such a quiet town as this, the outcome being the death of more than 330 people” ¦ & no one could have imagined that a perverted and troubled local man would hold young girls hostage at an Amish school, before killing them as well as himself. ” ¦Taking every protective measure possible to guard our children and our local schools is not ” ˜paranoia’ at all ” “ it is, indeed, the only sane response that we can have, in addition to our prayers of course. May we protect our children with all that we are, & instill in them that same heart of love and care. And love and care especially for the unborn, who are daily slaughtered by the thousands at the hands of terrorists – terrorists whom the media calls ” ˜doctors.’
Thank you, as always, for all your prayers and support ” “ it really is a dream fulfilled for me to be ale to be here and serving Jesus in missions, and I couldn’t do so without your help. I’m humbled and amazed to see all the relationships He’s built, and continues to build, and I thank Him for His continual faithfulness and blessings. The Lord is using us to touch people’s lives in many ways, and all the glory goes to Him!
Blessed Be His Majestic and Worthy Name,
Know God, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing soul. For YHWH searches every heart, and He understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He’ll let you find Him. But if you forsake Him, He’ll reject you forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9)
Special Prayer Request
On a good note, at least I was able to share with the agent some about how Jesus gives hope!