YHWH, God of Warriors... who is like You, O Mighty Yah?
Thy faithfulness surrounds Thee! (Psalm 89:8)
Thanks and glory be to The Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of our souls! Our Shepherd, Our Lord, Our Redeemer, and Friend... who is like Him? I'm so happy to write this and share with you how He is hearing our prayers and allowing us to share in His work. Below are some of the recent events that have taken place here; once again, thank you so much for all your prayers, love, and support!
On Saturday, January 7th, little Mairbek (who survived the school massacre, but saw his mother killed in front of him) dropped by my apartment he lives downstairs. He's 9, and we ate and talked together; keep him in your prayers... he's a nice kid, and it's obvious he longs for attention. Later that day we had a fellowship meeting, and some guests from Sochi (a city west of us) stayed here in Bsln for a few days. They were a real blessing to me, especially Raya and Maxim. Before they left, the believers gave me a newer translation of The Russian New Testament, and Maxim tried hard to give me his watch (though I refused to take it). I'm often amazed at the generosity of the Russian and Ossetian people they are far more generous than I often am, and they seem very sincere and happy to act in generosity.
On Monday, the 9th, I went to visit my landlord's younger brother, Edik. Edik and his twin brother were in the school massacre, but only Edik survived (Erik was killed). Edik is a great and energetic kid I think he's maybe 13. He is so 'normal'... he was shy at times, but also enjoyed using the phone to interrupt one of his older brothers' internet connection! We watched some TV and talked together, and he showed me how he can do a backwards handplant, as well as walk on his hands. He plays soccer, some guitar, a horn, knows some English, prefers candy to actual food, etc. Edik also likes 50 Cent, the Beatles, Limp Bizkit, and Tom & Jerry. He and his twin brother, Erik, were very close. I ate with their family, who are very kind, and they - especially the mother (Zina) were very appreciative that I came and visited. I brought some small gifts for Edik and the family, and when I left, they gave me a lot of food to take with me, and two of the older boys drove me back to my apartment. Before leaving, I told Zina that people are praying for them, and she said 'Thank you.' When she talked about the massacre a bit, her eyes started to water up. Only God knows how much pain she's gone through; a mother who lost her little boy in such a terrible way. And before I left, Edik really urged me to take this one apple that he gave me. When I went to eat it later, I found that though it looked very good on the outside, there was a lot of rot within. It, perhaps, was symbolic of the hurt and deep sorrow still within the family (and in Bsln itself), though one can't always immediately see those feelings with the physical eyes.
On Tuesday, the 10th, I went to teach Khetag, and gave him Cross Movement's Higher Definition CD. (Cross Movements is a rap group boldly preaching Jesus Christ.) YHWH gave me several opportunities to sit and talk with Khetag's mom, Alla. One of the topics was about how different Jesus and Muhammad are. For when comparing faiths, one needs to most closely look at the founders and early followers and when we do so, there is a huge difference, easily seen, between Jesus and Muhammad. I also shared how I believe God has more grace for people like her, because of what they've gone through. Alla so misses her son, Timur, who died in the terrorist attack. She also really believes that he'll be raised from the dead. Some of the mothers and people of Bsln have been deceived by an antichrist in Moscow, who claims to have special powers; this liar has said he is both the second coming of Christ, and God The Father. And even more he has said he can raise those who died in the massacre. Of course, his followers promised to do so for a fee just pay about $1,300, and they can resurrect the dead. (And what's more... prices are very different between Bsln and the US. My monthly apartment rate is only about $100.)
On 1/13, The LORD provided a god opportunity to speak with a girl that works at the internet club. She asked to see my Russian New Testament, and she said that reading The Bible was hard. She asked how Jesus could be God's Son, as well as God Himself, and so I gave some Trinity examples though of course, there is not totally accurate 'example' of God... He Is One, and no one/nothing is like Him! I shared about how I know that God can change a life, as he did with mine. She mentioned something about fear of death, and I shared how I know where I'm going Heaven (Amen, saints... we got the best future in the world)! She asked, 'And me?' I said that only God and she knows, but that it's possible to know for certainty.
Sunday, the 15th, our Lord enabled me to share some during our service (though in broken Russian). The night before, one of the newer believers asked for prayer to have more faith, and so I encouraged each one of us to spend more time in His Word. Romans 10 says that faith comes by hearing Christ's words. When we stay in His Word, He teaches us and reminds us of how Faithful He's been to so many people down through the ages. We read of Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Esther, Lazarus, Paul, John, and so many more. When our faith is weak, we need to spend more time in His Word. If one is feeling weak, physically, the least logical thing to do is run away from the food. Later that evening, I visited Mairbek and his family. Yes, he still (despite my serious efforts to actually win) smashes me in his Play Station soccer game! :) His younger brother, Murat, ran into me while I was sitting with my cup of hot tea... and I'm thankful that both my pants and sweatshirt were already black. Mairbek and I looked at a newspaper clipping that had a photo of him holding his mother's picture. He asked if I knew her name. Angela, I replied.
The next day, I stopped by The Mothers of Bsln Committee's Office and chatted with a few of the mothers there. One was Fatima, who lost her only son, Islam, in the massacre. If I understood her correctly, she told me that Islam had lived with her in Vladikavkaz (she and her husband had gotten divorced long ago). But in the summer of 2004, Islam's father had brought him to Bsln. She later told me that though she's usually not in Bsln, I should keep visiting the committee. One of the other ladies, Zalina, also told me to stop in when I'm close by. Praise God for the favor in their eyes! I try to stop by there every now and then, bringing some cookies or something, and they're always very glad to see me. It's not like I 'do' a lot there I think it just helps them know they're not forgotten. Zalina, for example, has such a tragic story. She was working in Israel when the terrorists took over the school here. Her only child, a nine year old boy named Soslan, was in the school with Zalina's mother... neither one survived. One of the terrorists shot Soslan in the head, and Zalina's mother, Vera ('Faith,' in Russian), was killed when the roof collapsed. Zalina is usually always at the Committee's office when I stop by. She has no one else here... the massacre robbed her of the only two people she had in her life. Sometimes her and I speak a little in Hebrew (that is, when I can remember words), and she especially always seems glad when I stop by. Please keep Zalina in your prayers.
Zalina (who was entering 3rd grade) and her older sister Zarina (who was entering the 5th grade) were both held hostage in the gym for the 3 days. Zalina was killed in the massacre, but Zarina survived. A lady whom I believe is her aunt said that Zarina cries sometimes, and other times is okay - but everything is boring for her now (I'm pretty sure that Zalina was her only sister). God blessed me to visit with Zarina; she's a nice girl, and is pretty quiet. She had to have surgery on her throat after the attack, and also needs arm surgery in the future. Zarina told me that she doesn't like sports or have any hobbies, but does like to draw. She has friends at school, but no best friend. Visit her family's apartment, and it's plain to see how much the terrorist attack has forever changed their world.
More Than Just Statistics
View photos of the victims, and read about their families whom The Lord has blessed us to visit
And then after clicking on it, they'd be able to see the photos with the stories.
Upper-right hand corner, click on 'eng'
Click on 'Photo'
Click on third link from the right.
His faithfulness surrounds Him,