YHWH Is Good, His lovingkindness is to everlasting, and His faithfulness is to every generation! (Psalm 100:5)
Shalom, and greetings in the love and grace of God! What an Awesome, Faithful, and Good God we serve! Thanks be to Him, and thank you for your prayers and support that bind us together in serving Him here. The city of B. is being touched by people like you!
Again, just so all know, the internet system here isnât always so reliable; if you donât receive an update or response to an email you send for a while, please have patience. Really, it can be quite frustrating to know that you need to write email but not be able to. But as Paul and Peter and the early crew had no such luxuries, hopefully we realize that His work is not dependent on such technology (this is a reminder to myself, too)!
You may remember that I wrote about Khetag, a 15-year-old boy that lost his younger brother in the B. school massacre. He also was at the school that day, but it turns out he wasnât inside the gym as a friend here had told me. Khetag himself told me that he was on the playground in front of the school that morning, when all of a sudden the group of terrorists rushed onto the playground and started shooting; he first thought it was shooting to show celebration, as the first day of school in Russia is a big day of celebration. But when he realized what was happening, he was able to run away in the opposite direction and make it home alive. The Lord enabled me to write a letter to him and translate it into Russian, and I think it really touched his heart. God helped me to write him a letter telling him of Godâs love for him, and that God has never forgotten him. As his mother lost her youngest of only two children, she thinks and speaks about the deceased boy continually. Iâve been told that Khetag has felt depressed, lonely, and also unwanted â that his mother sometimes hardly even talks to him. I think the letter meant a lot to him, and itâs easy to see that heâs looking for friends and attention. I told him that though I want to help him learn English, I want him to know how much God loves him so much more; that I not only want to be his teacher, but also his friend. The Lord has opened great opportunitiesâ¦ I teach him for an hour on Mondays, and then usually hang around for a few hours with him and his family. We eat, talk, watch TV, and do regular things like that. âMinistryâ is about sharing Christ, and we can share Him in both word and in spending time with those who need it; this need not only be done in Russiaâ¦ Pittsburgh has many people we can spend time with, too. Please keep Khetag in your prayers, and I especially ask all of you that have teenagers and/or those of you that serve in teen ministry to have your family/class continually pray for him. He is a normal 15-year-old boy that likes Adidas clothing, playing soccer, listening to rap, and he also likes to draw sports cars and brand-name logos.
Two of the local families here in B. (they also related to each other) have continued to help and treat me so kindly, often feeding me, inviting me to visit their apartment, and giving me things I may need for my apartment and the cold weather. One thing I want to again reiterate to all of us is that GOD IS FAITHFUL. He continually amazes me with how He provides and takes care of us, and I want this to be an encouragement to you in serving Him. Donât be afraid to step out because of the what-ifs; I guarantee you (not as though manâs word is in any way needed to âvalidateâ Godâs faithfulness) that He will amaze you in tons of surprising ways. You will no longer have to tell stories you hear from other missionaries and servants of The Lord about what Heâs done in their lives â you will be able to tell your own. This is the beauty of how God works; when He touches your heart in some way that only He can, it will give you deeper and more passionate love for Him, and strengthen your faith very deeply. Even in writing that last sentence, I had tears in my eyes realizing the testimony Heâs been continuing to give me â that He Is faithful, and that I can trust Him now. You want to hear an example? (And this is but one.) My family wrote to me saying theyâre working to save up enough money so I can come home for Christmas. And then my little sister sends me an email telling me how sheâs been refereeing soccer games on Saturdays, and that sheâs been making some money doing so â all of which sheâs been giving to my mother so I can come home and visit! I encourage you â step out and let God show you that Heâs Able to help, take care of, and strengthen you. And âstepping outâ need not mean crossing an oceanâ¦ perhaps The Lord just wants you to cross the street.
Here in the town of B. Iâm continuing to teach English, help serve in the fellowship here, and Heâs also given good opportunities to share with one of the newer believers (Zalina)â¦ answering questions, and sharing Scriptures. YHWHâs also given me two really nice friends in the nearby city of Vladikavkaz. Zaur is 22 and heâs a DJ, and his girlfriend, Zarina, is studying in one of the universities there. Theyâre very kind, and though weâve just recently become friends, Godâs given open doors to speak about Jesus and The Bible, and I believe we will be very good friends. Of course only time will tell, but even in first meeting them, theyâre two young people that seem both real and just normal, warm-hearted people. They are Russian Orthodox, but they seem to be very open to hearing about God. Please pray that The Lord will help them to fully follow His Son; I donât know much about their beliefs, but they seem very interested to talk with me about just about anything.
Thereâs much, much more to write about; really, I feel I could write a book about life here! Not only in that Heâs providing us with many opportunities to touch peopleâs lives, but also that some aspects of life here are so, so different here!
Please continue to pray for His church here in B. and in the neighboring city of Vladikavkaz. Our fellowship is having a baptism this Saturday â glory to God! Please keep praying that He will glorify Jesus through all of us, and do what He wills. Glory be to Him!
In YHWHâs peace which surpasses all understanding,
Russia, Republic of North Ossetia â Alania
Beslan, Index: 363Â 000,
Kominternas Street, House 75, Apt. 20