Comforting Those Who Mourn – June 2007
5/20/07, Sunday: Went and visited Madina”s family. (Madina”s 10-year-old brother, Marat, was killed in the school massacre.) Her parents were both feeling very bad (physically), and so I mostly hung out with Madina, her little sister, and their baby brother. ‚ ” ¦I”m amazed at how much Madina does for her family, how she helps in so many ways. Only to turn 17 on August 18th, Madina is already like a mom in so many ways ” “ and she doesn”t sit around and complain. Later, I went with her to visit her grandma. Her grandma was really glad to see me, and insisted on feeding me, though I tried to refuse since I really wasn”t hungry. Of course, that made no difference to her grandma, and so she proceeded to prepare some food and tea. Her grandma sat and talked with me, and again poured out a lot of her heart about her pain from Marat”s death. I shared that we still pray for them and haven”t forgotten them, nor has Jesus. Before leaving, she gave me a brand new towel as a gift; I was again reminded/convicted about how these people so freely share the little that they have while I am so often so selfish and stingy.
5/21/07, Monday: Had a pretty packed day today” ¦ guitar and English lessons, and then our Bible reading time; we went through James 2 and discussed it. Later, I went to Mairbek’s to celebrate his 11th birthday with him (he survived the terrorist attack but lost his mom there). He and his family insisted that I stay the night, so I did.
5/22/07, Tuesday: Went and visited a little boy, George, who lost his mom, dad, only brother/sibling, and grandma in the school massacre; only George survived. He is doing okay, but his aunt (who he lives with now) explained that he is very sensitive and cries easily. As I observed, little George is quiet, but he smiles often.
5/23/07, Wednesday: AM fellowship. Later went and visited the Mother’s Committee. ‚ One of the moms, Larissa, who survived the attack along with her son, asked me what group I was specifically – in terms of faith. She said that she’s gone to some different fellowships, Baptist, and Evangelical, but none of it makes any sense to her as of yet. PRAY FOR HER! ‚ Talked some w/ Svyeta” ¦ she told me how her granddaughter would have followed me everywhere I went had she survived the terrorist attack (Zalina). Svyeta’s older granddaughter (Zarina ” “ who survived the attack) doesn’t do much except sit at home now. ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ …Went and visited with Khetag (a teenage boy who escaped when the hostage crisis began, but lost his only brother/sibling there). Helped him some with his English pronunciation ” “ gave them my English/guitar lessons schedule.
5/24/07, Thursday: Visited Lena , a mother who lost her only child/daughter in the school massacre. Lena has cancer, and needs surgery. God willing, I hope to help find a sponsor for her and her operation.
5/25/07, Friday: Allergies still bad; washed clothes; prepared English lessons. ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦Man, did The Lord hear my prayers concerning giving an opportunity to share Jesus tonight! I dropped by the Alikova’s to visit and bring some gifts, and Yah gave a really great time! (The three young Alikova girls survived the attack along with their grandma, but the mother was killed.) Little Madina was so happy to see me” ¦ she said, ” ˜Jason!,’ and ran over and hugged me! Had tea with her, her younger sister Liza, and their friends. ‚ Gave the Alikova girls both of my CDs, and some small gifts. We had candy and tea, and they wanted to listen to my CDs” ¦ praise and glory to Yah, they really liked them! Madina said something about reading the words, so she could then sing along. At one point, she and her two friends were trying to follow the singing on the FARN (in the Ossetian language) CD! All glory to Yah, it was obvious how much favor He’s given me with them. YHWH, use all this for Your glory and good purposes! We then went across the street to their friend’s house, and I talked a tad with her mom ” “ the kids and I were heading outside to play, and their mom in the meantime listened to the FARN CD. When we went back to their friend’s house, her mom said she really liked the CD, and the message. She started telling me how much it meant to her that someone from across the ocean, from America, would come there” ¦ her eyes welled up, and they were full of tears. She mentioned about how much it meant to know that you were needed by someone, and that a foreigner would come to such a small place, and speak her own language with her” ¦ ‚ it was one of the rare times I’ve ever seen someone so openly thankful and moved by my being there. I spoke about how Jesus has changed me, and the glory is to Him. The Lord opened up a great time of sharing and witnessing to her. She also believes in Jesus, but mentioned something about all having the same God, since there’s only One God. I shared that I agreed that there Is Only One God, but that doesn’t mean others’ “god” and mine are the same. Shared the contrast concerning Jesus in Islam and Christianity, and that they’re either both wrong, or one is right and the other one incorrect. But since they contradict one another regarding God having a Son or not, they cannot both be correct. She talked about Igor, the Krishna guy that comes around, and she mentioned how we can take different paths up the mountain, but they all lead to the top” ¦ and that God could have taken on different forms in revealing Himself ” “ as Jesus, as Allah, etc. I said that could perhaps be possible if ” ˜God’ among those religions was the same, that his character did not change. But even just comparing The Koran and The Bible, the god of the muslims is not The God of The Bible. She really seemed to be getting everything, but she was hung up on the ” ˜people of other religions also lead good and moral lives’ point. The Lord blessed me to share that from man’s perspective, that is true” ¦ but only God’s perspective truly matters, and He says everybody has sinned and is guilty. And if I were to have stolen something and then found myself in court, when the judge asked me why I stole, I couldn’t say, ” ˜Well, I’m not a killer!’ That doesn’t matter to him ” “ I have to answer for what I did do. The other religions try to ” ˜outwork’ their bad deeds, but only The Bible shows how we can have our sins forgiven. Many other things were shared, and I mentioned a few times about how Jesus said no one could come to The Father except through Him. Glory to YHWH, it was amazing time of witnessing, and she seems so open, and seemed to understand and agree with what God helped me to say. Glory, thanks, and praise be to You, YHWH, my God!
5/26/07, Saturday: Vitalik, a young believer here, asked if it would be okay for him to visit me so we could read The Bible together” ¦ he wants to grow in his faith, and he has to leave for Moscow on June 25th. Yes, I think that would be okay for us to get together and read God’s Word together!
5/28/07, Monday: After the English lesson, one of the little girls named Madina came by, disappointed she had forgotten about the lesson and had missed it. We talked some, and I questioned her about the thread around her wrist. (Many younger girls here wear red or sometimes black threads around their wrist, to allegedly ward of ” ˜the evil eye’ and so forth.) I mentioned that God protects, and that thread is nothing. She shared how she used to go to the Baptist fellowship, but stopped after she was baptized (in the Russian Orthodox church). She talked about the icons at her church, and The Lord enabled me to share that God Is More Powerful than saints, and that we can pray straight to Him. Madina told me she had been a hostage during the terrorist attack along with her mom, but they both survived. (Madina’s b-day is in September, and I think she’ll be 9 or 10 this year.) She told me how she had lost her very best friend in the school massacre, Kristina; Kristina was killed there along with her mom and grandma” ¦ her little brother survived. ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦Madina said she wanted me to say here forever! She said she didn’t need any operation after the attack, and I told her that she was a miracle. She told me that on the third day of the hostage crisis when one of the explosions made an opening, she called out to her mom, who was in very bad condition. Thankfully, her mom heard, and they both ran out. Madina said, ” ˜Had I not called her, she would have died there.’ I hadn’t even known Madina had been a hostage” ¦ I just knew her as the nice little girl who always says hi to me, and comes to the English lessons.
5/30/07, Wednesday: AM fellowship; Sergei (Totiev) preached. Saw young Kazik and playing at the playground ” “ Kazik asked me to come to their house around 2 or 3 on Saturday for his birthday. (Kazik is pastor Sergei’s youngest son, and he lost two of his sisters in the school massacre.) Visited with Mairbek (who survived the attack but lost his mom there), then later visited with Zalina and her mom, Rita. (Zalina lost her younger sister, Kristina, in the terrorist attack.) I gave them the FARN (“Peace,” in Ossetian) CD, and The Lord opened up several opportunities to share about: Jesus and The Bible, how I came to believe, the god of the koran not being The God of The Bible (Rita is a muslim in name but her kids are Russian Orthodox), and so forth. All praise to Yah’s Name, it was a really good time of talking. Rita’s son is getting married soon, but she confessed having two different emotions ” “ happiness for him, but still living with the sorrow of Kristina’s death. For Rita, memories of Kristina, her youngest daughter, are everywhere.
5/31/07, Thursday: While at the internet club today, I read that my 13 year old sister, Michelle, has pneumonia …please keep her in your prayers. Had guitar and English lessons today; some kids dropped by as well. Was a good and full day, and really felt wiped out afterwards.
6/1/07, Friday: Spending time with The Lord in prayer and in His Word, He helped me to see that with His help, I need to reprioritize my life – making time for Him everyday in The Word, prayer, and worship. ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦I headed out later to teach little George and his cousins around 1:30 or so. While waiting for a minivan/taxi, a car pulled over and it was Zina and Elbrus (their two youngest sons, twins, were both among the hostages – only one of the boys survived). We talked a bit, and then they gave me a ride to my lesson. They told me to drop by and teach Edik (their son who survived) also, and I said I would. ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ” ¦Arriving at George’s, his aunt Marina prepared lunch for us, and we talked while she was getting it ready. (Young George, around 7, was a hostage along with his older/only brother, his mom, his dad, and his grandma; everybody was killed except for George, and he now lives with his aunt and her family.) I also watched a little bit of a dinosaur program with George ” “ he likes dinosaurs, and said he’d like to do excavation work when he’s older. I taught George and his two cousins, Asik and Alina, as well as Marina. George has a really likeable personality, smiling a lot. He’s pretty quiet, and when he does talk, his voice is very soft.
6/2/07, Saturday: Spent several hours at the Totievs, for Kazik’s birthday. Had a good time and The Lord gave me a nice time to talk with Byella. (Byella is Kazik’s mom, and she lost two of her daughters in the school massacre. She and her family are strong believers, and active in the ministry.) I shared how I really liked King David, and she said the same ” “ for he had such a tender love for The Lord. Byella also said how she liked Job. She told that she couldn’t understand The Book of Job that much before the terrorist attack, but afterwards, she really did ” “ and to put it simply, humans just don’t know very much about this life.
Please pray for
- God’s blessing on the English, guitar, and Bible-reading times;
- The Lord to give Rita and Zalina a passion and desire to truly seek and know Him;
- God to continually show little George, who lost his whole family in the massacre, just how much He loves him;
- Jesus to often comfort and give strength to Byella and her family, and that they might fix their hope on the grace that will be given when Jesus Christ is revealed;
- my sister, Michelle, who is sick with pneumonia;
- the number of younger kids that come to the lessons, and or just drop by the house here ” “ that God will bless them, give them true desire to know and follow Jesus, and that they will clearly see Christ in me.
- Health for Alan and Zalina, Madina’s parents;
- Larissa to understand The Lord, His ways, and His salvation, and for her to follow Him accordingly;
- God to convict Lena of her need for Jesus, and also that He’d heal her of her cancer;
- The mom I spoke with on Friday, for her also to know The Real God and walk obediently with Him;
- The Lord to heal my allergies;
- Vitalik to grow in his faith, & for us to committedly read His Word together before he leaves for Moscow .
As always, I greatly appreciate all of you so very much who share in this service. Thank you for your love and sacrifices which make this ministry possible. Again, I really hope you grasp the impact that you’re making here: vicariously, so to speak, you are sitting with mothers who lost their children in such a horrific way ” “ listening to them, sharing with them” ¦ you are interacting with children who survived the attack, and you are pouring into their lives” ¦ and you are sharing The Good News of Jesus Christ with people who live in sorrow.
All the glory, honor, and praise be to our Great and Wonderful God for all He Is doing! And for the fact that He can take us, messed up wretches deserving of Hell, and forgive and redeem us ” “ and then use us as messengers of His grace and love to a community that has witnessed such unspeakable horror” ¦ He Is Amazing, indeed. All the glory be to Jesus Christ, for His endless love & transforming power – for coming to seek and save the lost. By His grace, I now am found.
In Jesus, The Name Above all names,
Rejoice as you see your share in this ministry!
From death, You have delivered my soul! ‚ ‚ (Psalm 56:13)