4/29/07, Sunday: Visited Mairbek and family (Mairbek survived the attack, but his mom, Anzhela, died there). I played soccer with Mairbek (who I think turns 10 later this month), and several other small kids. It was a fun time and I mostly played goalie; the not-so-fun part was getting drilled in the right ear by a powerful shot, but hey - you’ll have that in soccer! Afterwards went and visited with Mairbek’s family. I talked with Kristina some; she also survived the terrorist attack, and I’m pretty sure she’s Mairbek’s aunt, though she’s probably only about 20. Kristina was saying how she doesn’t really have any friends " “ she did, but they all left for St. Petersburg to study. I really felt bad for her, " ˜cos I can really relate to that; in my after high-school days it seemed that most went away to school, and I often felt like a loser for not having done the same. The Lord blessed me to share with some of their family about what nonsense it is that many here tie red strings around their baby’s wrists to " ˜ward off the evil eye’ - we are to trust in The Lord. Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ " ¦Man, I really need to learn these languages (Russian and Ossetian) better. Glory to The Lord, I can express my ideas, but I have so many limitations. Sometimes it’s so frustrating!
5/1/07, Tuesday: Had a chance to talk and share with the lady who works in the small store by Madina’s apartment. I shared about trying to live with Jesus as The Focus, and also shared some things from The Bible. Later went and visited Byella and Sergei, believers who lost 2 of their six children in the attack " “ Sergei is a pastor here. Byella served dinner, and we had a really nice time of visiting. We talked about the state of the world, Jesus’ return, Ahmadinejad (or perhaps we should be more honest and call him Ahmadin-jihad), my family, and so forth. Please pray for Byella’s sister-in-law, Raiya, who recently broke her foot or her leg. (Raiya and her husband, Taimuraz, lost four of their five children in the school massacre; Taimuraz is also a pastor, and he’s Sergei’s brother.) O Great God, bless these dear families. Heal Raiya thoroughly and quickly, and dry their tears, O Precious Redeemer.
5/2/07, Wednesday: Chatted with Nahzee (the believing grandma I stay with here in Bsln) this morning" ¦ she again told how Sofia meant so very, very much to them. ( Sofia was her teenage granddaughter who was killed in the terrorist attack; she too was a strong follwer of Jesus.) Nahzee shared how Sofia ’s mom (and Nahzee’s daughter), Fatima , had a baby about four months ago. The new baby is helping Fatima and her family, as they have to spend so much time taking care of her. They named their baby girl Anastasia, which is Greek for " ˜Resurrection.’
5/3/07, Thursday: Went to the internet club; gave them some of the FARN CDs. (Farn is the Ossetian word for " ˜Peace;’ The Lord blessed me to record a seven song CD of Christian songs in the Ossetian language, one of them being specifically for those who lost loved ones in the attack.) Came home, and sat and talked with Nahzee for a good while. We talked about lots of different things, and God blessed me to encourage her with, and read to her, Romans 8:28, as well as the last few verses of that chapter. Nahzee told me that some of her neighbors ask her, " ˜Nahzee, why do you still say God helps you? Your husband, who was strong and in good health, died early " “ before any of the other men on the street. Your (21 year old) son was killed (while standing guard to protect Ossetian property from being robbed by Georgians). And your granddaughter died in the terrorist attack. Why do you still say God helps you?’ But though Nahzee has had far more suffering than most of us whiney Christians have ever experienced, she is an amazing old lady who clings to her God and her faith in Jesus Christ. I later went to visit Madina’s family. I gave Madina the FARN CD, and also one for her mom and dad; Madina asked me for another copy so she could give to her friend, which I gave her. Came back home; later, when I was in my room reading, grandma Nahzee knocked on the door and came in, wanting to say evening prayers. I said sure, and here " “ this bulwark of faith " “ this elderly and heavy-set grandmother, who is not in the best of health " “ this amazing woman of faith gets down on her knees to pray.
5/4/07, Friday: Yah blessed me graciously, to safely go to Vladikavkaz and back, and get my registration finished. Finally! Thank You, Lord! Came back to Bsln" ¦ man, there are some scary and freaky stray dogs here!
5/5/07, Saturday: My Shabbat day. At times I have a hard time sleeping here, since Barseek (our dog/resident wolf) gets up and barks so often. Read a lot more in " ˜Epicenter,’ by Joel Rosenberg; Chantelle from Calvary Chapel Pittsburgh loaned it to me, and it’s an amazing book thus far! Went to visit the Mother’s of Bsln. The Lord greatly blessed the visit to the Mom’s Committee; I had earlier prayed that He would bless me with an opportunity to share Jesus, and He so totally answered! Praise be to Your Name, my Great God! It was just Svyeta and another grandma, whose name I don’t know; she and Svyeta really poured out their hearts a lot today. They both shared how their souls are just worn out" ¦ there’s another coming court case in Ingushetia, to which they’re going, but they said " ˜it’s all the same to us’ " “ they’re not expecting to see justice anymore. Somehow the topic of faith came up, and the one grandma shared that her mom was a Baptist. She (not her mom) even said she herself is closer to a Baptist than Russian Orthodox, because " ˜who has seen God that they might draw Him as an icon,’ like the Orthodox do? But she seemed hung up on the topic of forgiveness " “ how someone could live a certain way and do many terrible things, and then just be forgiven. I shared some from my background as a Catholic, and that I had thought that it was the good/bad scale thing which would determine where I went after death. However, The Bible teaches that everyone has sinned " “ all are sinners. If I’m in court for something, when the judge asks my why I did what I did, I can’t just say, " ˜But I never killed someone.’ The judge doesn’t care about that. I have to answer for what I’m in court for, not for the other things that I didn’t do. And it would be like if I had a huge debt which I couldn’t pay, but someone else offered to pay my debt " “ all I had to do was to accept it. Jesus extends that opportunity to all of us " “ we’re all sinners " “ but we must accept it, or not. The grandmother really understood that. And I also mentioned that God can and does forgive us when we are truly asking for forgiveness, and change follows; i.e., He’s not stupid, and you can’t deceive Him by asking for forgiveness today when you’re already planning to sin later. I told her how Jesus has changed me " “ and if I accept that He can forgive and change me, then I must also accept that He can forgive and save others. She really seemed to get that, and I was just amazed at this opportunity. It was probably the clearest and most direct opportunity to share Jesus with someone at the Committee than ever before. I also passed on my friend’s and church’s greetings, and that we’re still praying for them, which they were grateful for. Svyeta lost her younger granddaughter in the attack (Zalina), and the other grandma there lost her 10-year-old granddaughter (Alana), as well as her own sister (Rita) and her niece (Rita’s daughter, Ella). The Lord blessed me to leave 7 of the FARN CDs with them, as well as the photos we had taken last time I was here, and some chocolates. I said I’d drop by the Mother’s Committee again, and Svyeta said, " ˜You can stop by every day.’ Thank You, Jesus, for the favor You’ve given me with these hurting ladies. Comfort them, and show them Your salvation.
Please Pray For:
- Kristina " “ for her to find Christ, and for The Lord to send her godly friends;
- God to thoroughly and quickly heal Raiya;
- Nahzee, for strong faith, good health, and all His blessings upon her;
- Syveta, the other grandma, and all the members of The Mother’s of Bsln Committee " “ that they would find strength, hope, peace, and rest in Jesus Christ;
Thank you for all of your prayers, love, and support " “ and all the glory be to The Lord, The One and Only God!
In Yeshua, The Holy One Of Israel ,
This I know " “ everything that God does will remain forever.Ã‚ Ã‚ (Ecclesiastes 3:14)