How blessed is the man who trusts in The Lord of Warriors!(Psalm 84:12)
Those who trust in the Lord are blessed indeed â for they trust not in themselves, nor in their own power, nor in their own accomplishments. Their trust is in The Lord. May we trust in Him, having faith & confidence in His Character, & living in the knowledge of His great love for us. He Is more than worthy of all of our trust!
To Yahâs praise and glory, the ministry to B.e.s.l.a.n is continuing â even âfrom exile.â Iâm closer to finishing up the first newsletter and English lesson which will be sent to many people and families there. Heâs also enabled me to get closer to finishing the CD which will be sent to them as well â a CD with Godâs Word & His truth all through it.
Lord willing, Iâm hoping to each month put together & send a newsletter to both believers & non-believers there in southern Russia, featuring small interviews with believers who pray for them, photos, and so forth so as to continue sharing with them and reminding them that they are not forgotten. Most people in B.e.s.l.a.n get basically no mail at all, and so that fact will help make this outreach all the more special to them. There will also be a separate sheet covering English basics, focusing on teaching the most common words in the English language, how to pronounce them, and sentences for them to translate which show those words in real use.
Here is a short audio clip from one of the songs on the new CD, which is about following Jesus, The Light of The World. The man talking is speaking Ossetian (the ethnic language of most in B.e.s.l.a.n), & he says,
God loves all men. Jesus said, âI Am The Light of The World.
The one who follows Me wonât walk in the darkness.â Follow Him.
The Book of 1 John is set to music on this CD, and there are other songs as well which Iâm confident that the Lord will use to speak His truth to many hearts there in B.e.s.l.a.n, and to the youthâs in particular.
Yesterday, I got a wonderful surprise â one of the moms I know in B.e.s.l.a.n called me! Her name is Irina (Ira for short), and she was a hostage during the terrorist attack along with two of her sons. Tragically, one of her sons â Artur â was killed. PLEASE GO TO THIS LINK AND READ ABOUT HER AMAZING AND HEART-BREAKING STORY! http://www.eurobible.net/eu/download/B.e.s.l.a.n.pdf Irina is a believer, and a very special woman. She called me yesterday to say how angry she was over my being refused entry into Russia, and that her family misses me and really wants me to come back. She also passed on warm greetings to those who pray for her family, and so I in turn pass those on to you. Go read her story at the above link!
That call as well as other calls and emails Iâve received have only gone to prove once more that to Godâs praise, He has really used us in very personal ways to touch these peopleâs hearts, and that there is still a great door wide open in reaching out to the people of B.e.s.l.a.n. Perhaps Iâm âin exileâ for good, or perhaps just for a season, but with His help my desire is to continue doing what we/I can from this location.
In Pittsburgh news, I was blessed to recently teach two youth group classes, in which we studied 2 and 3 John, as well as The Book of Jude. If any of you are involved in youth ministry, or would just like copies of the lesson sheets for yourself, please let me know and Iâd be happy to email you the files.
Several people have asked me, âWhat now?,â seeing as how the door to physically be in B.e.s.l.a.n is closed to me at this time. Well, as several of you know, I believe the Lord is leading me to help out with a short outreach taking place in Rome in the second half of March. My brother and friend in The Lord, Anthony Royle, emailed me out of the blue and asked me to pray about joining their team â little did he know that their dates coincided exactly with the dates I had written out beforehand regarding possibly going to Italy! What an amazing âcoincidence!âJÂ As The Lord wills and He provides, Iâve decided to go and join them as they share Christ there in Rome. Weâll be laboring with Calvary Chapel Rome (http://www3.calvarychapel.com/rome/) as we reach out there during holy week, and also do some teaching sessions. Iâll mainly be there to help what theyâve already set up, but Anthony mentioned to me about doing some teachings on Israel, and so Iâm looking forward to that as well.
There are two other places I believe The Lord has placed upon my heart as well, and if Heâs willing Iâm hoping to visit them later this year. Jerusalem remains upon my heart (is it ever out of the hearts of believers?), and Iâve gotten emailed suggestions from the saints there, saying that it would be okay if I decided to go there and serve again! The other place is Japan. Yah has blessed me with Japanese friends and students over the years, and besides just being a fascinating country, it seems to be one with very real and plentiful open doors to share Christ there. I recently was very blessed to have dinner with two believers and friends (thanks again Lee and Juko!), and they shared about many of the difficulties the Japanese Christians face, as well as the great opportunities to serve there. As many of you know, I had been tentatively planning to go to Japan and South Korea over the summer of 2005, but it seemed that The Lord was desiring more time helping there in Jerusalem and afterwards heading out to B.e.s.l.a.n. Not that I regret those blessings whatsoever! Simply that with the number of Japanese people Heâs blessed me to meet and get to know over the years, I have more and more of a desire to visit Japan and see how to help bring Jesus to those people. Many Japanese know almost nothing about Jesus, but have a real interest in learning about Him. One of the most shining examples is one that some of you have heard me talk about before, but I believe it bears repeating. A few years back, I taught a young Japanese couple here in Pittsburgh for around a year or so. They were very interesting people, and the time came when it was time for them to return to Japan. Before they left, I asked them if they had learned anything while living here in America; I wasnât asking about what theyâd learned in English or whatever, but about life â if they had learned or discovered anything while being here. The husband, Shojiâs, answer shocked me in the most amazing way. He said that the thing he was most impressed about was to see how Christâs teachings had impacted America and Americans! He said that it was astonishing how so many Americans helped them here, and invited them over for dinner, and things like that. And so Shoji told me that it amazed him to see how Christâs teachings had made America such a special place, and that he wanted to go back to Japan and study more of His teachings there. I almost passed out! I thought to myself, âWhat an indictment against America â that it takes a pagan foreigner to come here to realize how much God, and specifically â Christ, has blessed our nation!â If Iâve ever heard a good reason to pray and try to go to another nation in order to share Jesus, thatâs got to be one of the top ones!
Next week I start back tutoring English to foreign students here in Pittsburgh â yes, this is my âreal jobâ as the world calls it!JÂ And so, Iâm looking forward to that and the opportunities The Lord will give in sharing about Jesus His Son. May He continually remind us that there are open doors all around us to share His Word!
Please pray for:
- Godâs help in finishing the newsletters and new CD;
- Ira and her family, as well as all of the people of B.e.s.l.a.n;
- The Lordâs guidance and provision for the Italy outreach;
- Favor with the Russian authorities â I mailed them a letter detailing what happened to me in Moscow, and asking them to explain why that decision was made;
- Jesus to use me here in Pittsburgh as I teach English to Japanese students;
- The home Bible study/fellowship night weâre having on Saturday, February 9th.
Revolutionized by Jesusâ love,
How blessed is the man who trusts in The Lord of Warriors! (Psalm 84:12)