Comforting Those Who Mourn – September 2007 – Part 2

Update from Russia
September 11th, 2007

“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage: I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NASB)

9/5/07, Wednesday: AM fellowship; after the service, one of the grandmas came up to talk with me. She had brought her granddaughter (Galina) to last week”s English lesson, and she said how Galina liked the lesson. She told me that as a result of the terrorist attack, Galina has had severe problems with her nerves; Galina herself was not a hostage, but ” “ like other youth in the region ” “ she was greatly frightened by all that took place here. To God’s praise, her grandma said that Galina was calmer than usual after having come to the English lesson.

9/6/07, Thursday: Visited little Artur and his family; we were neighbors when I lived in the same apartment building last year. Artur’s dad died earlier this year, and it’s very sad that he and his little brother will grow up without their father. I brought some school supplies for Artur (who I think is about 9), and his grandma told me of a terrible event that just took place on Tuesday. Three years ago, there were around 14 Russian military personnel who were killed here as they tried to rescue hostages and kill terrorists during the Bsln school massacre. Three years later – almost to the day – somebody killed the daughter of one of those men. ” ¦Also visited a little with Mairbek (who survived the massacre), and then came home and finished a few more songs for the new CD I’m working on. To The Lord’s glory, I’m just about finished with the disc ” “ there’s one more song to complete, & then the CD-insert layout work & all.

9/7/07, Friday: Taught English to little George and his cousins (George survived the massacre, but lost his parents, only sibling, and grandma there). ” ¦Nahzee (the grandma I live with here) told me of the work of a Russian mis_ionary who has done a lot of service here, but even after all of that, no one comes to the church services here. I mentioned to Nahzee my conviction that they may not come to us, but we can go to them. She confirmed that idea, and said that they ” “ mainly meaning the children of Bsln ” “ they will one day come to The Lord. May it be! We need to remember these people, and specifically build into the youth’s lives.

9/8/07, Saturday: Went to the nearby city of Vladkavkz to teach English; please pray for the lessons there, as we’re seeking ways to improve them. One of the big frustrations for me here is that, like always, when you offer some kind of service to people for free, they don’t take it seriously and they come to the classes sporadically. This makes things hard, because you can’t really go through a systematic method of teaching English when people don’t come on a regular basis; one week certain people come, the next week half of them come as well as some different students, and so forth. One of the local pastors gave some suggestions on how to make the classes more interesting/appealing, but they are ones which would require putting in a lot more work on my part as to the planning. I shared my dilemma, because though yes I’m here and helping to teach English, that’s just one part of the ministry. Home visits are an even bigger priority, and I don’t want to invest a lot more time into making some high-tech curriculum when many of the people will probably still come on an irregular basis. ” ¦In the evening, the Baptist church I fellowship at here in Bsln held an outreach event at Bsln’s community center. It was a night to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack, and to try and share hope and consolation with the victims’ families. There were quite a number of people who came, and The Lord touched many hearts through the music, preaching, and words of hope given by His people here. The Name of Jesus was clearly spoken of, and glory to God for all He did this evening!

9/9/07, Sunday: After the AM Fellowship, one of the saints here told me how – after the school massacre – Kazik (a little Christian kid who lost two of his sisters there) would shut himself in his family’s bathroom and weep” ¦ and no one was able to calm him down.

9/10/07, Monday: Two new high school students came to the English class today, Batraz and Khetag. (I’m not sure if Khetag was as well, but I know that Batraz was a hostage during the terrorist attack.) They are both seniors in high school, and Batraz wants to study something like international affairs or business after he graduates ” “ Khetag wants to become an economist. The lesson went very well, and I gave them both two of my CDs. Please pray that through these new friendships, and through our English classes in which we’re reading through John’s Gospel, Jesus will touch their hearts and bring them to a saving knowledge of Who He Is.

9/11/07, Tuesday: ” ¦so hard to believe that six years have passes since 9/11 already” ¦ I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Let’s pray for the many, many families who lost loved ones in that terrible tragedy. And let’s step back and take a look at our country as well as at our own hearts ” “ have we learned to value God, life, and family more highly, or have we already forgotten that tragic day 6 years ago? With sadness I think we all must confess that – as a nation – we are worse now then we were before September 11th, 2001. I’m not getting into politics here, but I think you all know what I’m talking about. For the immediate time after 9/11, God was once again called upon and looked to as being needed ” “ even governmental leaders freely and publicly spoke of God and of praying. But now? Like the Israelites of old, we are once again prosperous, and therefore God had become less relevant to us. Yes there were those who gave their hearts to The Lord, but I’m speaking nationally here ” “ we as a nation did not return to God. Our abortions have not stopped, and absolutely beyond all understanding: we have become more open and tolerant to the very religion that came and brought death to us! May God have mercy on us and our children, and bring us to repentance! May He bring us, as a nation and as individuals, to surrender to Him and to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ!

And in “stupid of the stupid”  news, one of my dear brothers and friends here told me an absolutely amazing and shocking real-life story. He used to be a member of a very legalistic fellowship here, and not long ago he ran into a sister who goes to (or went to) that same fellowship. They talked with one another, and she told him how she had wanted to adopt a child. She went to the leaders of that fellowship and asked their opinion; according to my friend, that fellowship is one of the ones in which people can’t make even simple choices without running to their leaders to ask for their answers. Anyways, those leaders told her not to adopt ” “ for, according to them, since the child’s parents didn’t want their child, that child was cursed, and believers are not to adopt cursed children! To make matters worse, that answer was not simply from the local leaders, but came down from an aged and apparently very well-known Christian leader here in Russia. I don’t know that leader’s heart, but I can say authoritatively that his opinion is not only callous and stupid, but even worse ” “ it’s heretical. It’s one thing to debate about whether Jesus will return before the tribulation, or during it, or after it ” “ but to call unwanted children cursed and to tell believers not to adopt them? That is absolutely heretical, for The Bible clearly shows The Heart of God as especially loving the unloved! The God of The Scriptures does not run around throwing curses upon unwanted children, nor does He refuse to let His people adopt such little ones. Are not unwanted children in even more need of being loved by Christians? I mention this story as a warning, because as the years pass after our having been born again, there is a very real and tremendously frightening reality: we can indeed drift away into gross error, and even outright apostasy. Take King Solomon as an example ” “ YHWH gave him incredible wisdom, and He even appeared to Solomon on two different occasions. But take a look at 1 Kings 11, and it’s absolutely frightening how even such a wise man fell away, and we have no Biblical record of him repenting of his apostasy. So Christian, be on the alert and don’t let yourself drift and fall into error! As we grow in years as a believer, we ought to be closer to Jesus then we previously were. If not, we need to make some very real changes.

Please pray for:

  • The family of the girl who was killed on Tuesday (whose father lost his life in the Bsln attack);
  • God’s Word which was shared on Saturday evening with many of the victim’s families, that It may take root and grow and remain in their daily thoughts;
  • The new CD which I’ve almost finished recording;
  • Yah’s wisdom and direction for the English lessons, specifically Saturdays’ classes;
  • The Lord to draw my new students, Batraz and Khetag, to Jesus His Son;
  • God to comfort the 9/11 victims’ families, as they continue each day without their loved ones;
  • The Lord to bring those leaders to repentance who teach that unwanted children are cursed and therefore should not be adopted by Christians.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support of this work; glory be to YHWH our God!

Our God Is God,

[email protected]

“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage: I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NASB)

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