Comforting Those Who Mourn – July 2007 – Part 2
Extract what is precious from what is worthless. ‚ ‚ (Jeremiah 15:19)
I”m currently reading through The Book of Jeremiah, and the verse above is one which really seemed to ” ˜jump out” at me. YHWH was speaking with Jeremiah, and He shared His desire for him to extract what was precious from what was worthless. May The Lord God so bless and help us, that in our own lives, we too may extract the things that are precious from the things which are worthless!
7/17/07, Tuesday: In the evening, an older sister came by and talked with Nahzee (the grandma I live with here) and me. Her spirit was really troubled over something she had done, and she was having difficulty believing she was forgiven. Although she had publicly repented and had asked for The Lord’s forgiveness a couple days ago, she talked about ” ˜hoping The Lord would forgive her.’ ‚ God blessed me to encourage her with 1 John 1:9 (go ahead, look it up!), which so beautifully shows The Lord’s promise of forgiveness. God gave me a great idea to illustrate her situation in a way that she could clearly see and understand, and so I told her to ask me to give her The Bible that was in my hands. She asked me for It, and I gave It to her. I told her to ask me again, and she did” ¦ but as I pointed out, she already had my Bible in her hands. I encouraged her by reminding her that she had already repented (and very publicly) and asked for forgiveness – and so she already had it! I said that either what God said in 1 John 1:9 is true, or He lied. If what He said was true, then she has His promise of forgiveness. ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦She also shared how hard it is to be a believer here, for paganism is intertwined into almost everything here. Imagine: living in a culture where such routine thing as birthday parties, weddings, and funerals are laced with paganism. I’m not trying to say that the US or other nations are free of spiritual error, but at least many everyday things in our society are not explicit expressions of paganism. One example: here in Besl-n and the surrounding areas, it’s very common to have a memorial service a year after a loved one died. The family of the deceased invites their other family members as well as their friends, and there is a huge feast. The problem with the memorial gathering? The food and drinks are offered to the dead, and then consumed by the living. So imagine that your aunt died a year ago, and today is the memorial gathering; all your family is there, as well as many neighbors and friends. You however, as a believer, refuse to eat food offered to the dead ” “ and you refuse to help prepare for the day, or clean up afterwards. Put yourself in the shoes of the believers here, and imagine the amount of pain they have in following Christ. Pray for The Lord to strengthen and encourage the saints here!
7/18/07, Wednesday: Woke up with my stomach feeling quite sick, and therefore spent a good part of the day taking it easy. Have been working a lot on the new music CD, as well as teaching the regular English and guitar classes. One praise report is that Mairbek, my little 11 year old buddy who survived the school massacre, started coming to classes. (He lost his mom in the terrorist attack, and his grandma takes care of him now.) In our English lessons, we’re reading through The Gospel of John in English and Russian, and so pray that The Lord touches Mairbek’s heart with His Word and His love. As a human in ministry, I often wonder and think about what I’m actually doing here and/or what I’m accomplishing ” “ and of course I have my up days and my down days. But perhaps much of this ministry is in building up and reaching out to the youth, that in time, they will be changed and used by Jesus to help change their culture.
7/20/07, Friday: (When I was in the US , I came across a website with good/free Christian music to download. Check out: tinaosborn.com ‚ ‚ I wrote to Tina concerning using her music to give to people in Besl-n, and her husband Roy answered with their favor and blessing.) Today, I put together a CD with Tina’s songs, and then the instrumental versions afterwards. One of the teenage girls I know here, Alina, wants to become a singer someday. (She and her brother both survived the school massacre by God’s grace.) I visited and gave her the CD, as well as the words printed out for her so she can practice with the instrumental versions. Her mom asked if I had found any info on possible college scholarships for Alina, who really wants to study in Chicago . (If any of you would be interested in researching that for me, I’d love to hear from you! I’ve down a little research, but have so much going on here and haven’t done as much as I’d like to have down.) ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦Also, again speaking of being a human in ministry, I’ve been wrestling w/ timidity about speaking of Him. (The advantage of me writing my own reports is that I can make myself look great! But that would not be true. Just as The Bible shows us people’s weaknesses, I believe we should be real with God, ourselves, and others, and not try to just tell of our strengths or accomplishments.) I wonder if I’ll ever learn, and just speak His Word and not give a rip about what anyone does or doesn’t think. ‚ Adonai, please help me.
7/21/07, Saturday: Went to Vladkavkz to teach English to a group at Taimuraz’s fellowship. (Pastor Taimuraz is the one who lost four of his five children in the terrorist attack. He and his wife are on vacation now, and please pray for him and his health. In addition to the sorrow that he lives with, he is also the head of all the Baptist fellowships in this area. And of course pray for Raiya, his wife, as well as for Madina, their only child who survived the attack.) The Lord blessed us to a have a very good lesson, and we are going through Psalm 23 as well as reading summaries of Bible stories. Afterwards, we had lunch and a good time of fellowship. The believers there are very warm and friendly, and I praise The Lord for this group of friends and family! ‚ ‚ ” ¦One of the brothers again shared about the need here in Ossetia for good, Biblical teaching videos/CDs in the Russian language.
Please pray for:
- YHWH to help us extract what is precious from what’s worthless;
- God to encourage the sister wrestling with believing that He has forgiven her, that Jesus will remind her how very much He loves her, and of how His Blood cleanses us from every sin;
- Perseverance, strength, and boldness for me and all The Lord’s people here;
- Jesus to reveal Himself to young Mairbek;
- Our Shepherd to refresh and strengthen Pastor Taimuraz and his family;
- The Lord’s blessing on, and guidance for, the English lessons;
- Good, solid Bible teachers and teaching for the people of Ossetia
- Yah’s help and blessing on the new music CD i’m working on;
- My health ” “ I was sick both last week, and these past few days once again, with stomach pain and therefore spent a good amount of time in bed as well as in the bathroom. Let’s just say that health standards here for producing food are not the same as in they are in the US .
Thanks so very much for sharing in this ministry! What a privilege He has given to us – to know His Great and Majestic Name, and to share His amazing love with others! There is no god like our God; all glory and honor be to Him Alone!
Jesus never fails
jason, ‚ ‚ firstname.lastname@example.org
Extract what is precious from what is worthless!