On the third day of our trip, we met Glenda, an 89-year-old widow. Once a gifted and graceful ballerina, she sat in her tiny apartment, sharing stories of her glory days, and becoming so entrenched that when she stood to show us a dance, she nearly collapsed. Remembering her deformed feet, she reclaimed her seat on the tiny sofa and quickly composed herself. Glenda would never dance again; never again dazzle audiences with her once vibrant grace and beauty. She laid her hands in her lap and asked why we had come. We shared the story of Christ and His love; we shared the beauty of our Creator. She waved her hand at us, “Yes, yes, I know,” she said. “Tell me something I don’t know!” I realized that while Glenda knew, she still would not trust.
Her grown son entered the apartment and her elderly eyes lit up. She was full of delight, and nestled him beside her on the sofa. While my friend talked to him about the Lord, Glenda would attempt to change the subject or waive her hand at our “foolish talk.” But I couldn’t shake the feeling of love I had for her, and as we left her apartment I turned and told her that God wants her to dance again; He wants her to dance in heaven. There was no response. The door closed, and my heart broke. (Koroblino, Russia, August 2010)
Glenda’s story is one of many I could tell, but this penetrates me most because, unlike the other people we visited, there was no visible impact when we shared the Gospel. I feel it demonstrates the enormous need for hope, trust and freedom from despair for the people of Russia. It also demonstrates the reality of mission work: some hear and are changed; some hear and turn away. But it’s not our job to save the lost. We merely listen, we tell the wonders of Christ, and then we pray.
E3 is a church planting ministry dedicated to taking the Gospel to the nations. They work strategically with churches already in place to help establish new churches in areas where none exist. In our Western minds, that’s difficult to understand because we have churches everywhere. But in nations like Russia, very few Evangelical churches exist for hundreds of miles. E3 works with Russian Christian nationals who are committed to following-up with the people we meet. They dedicate themselves to starting these new churches, however small, but so desperately needed.
I’ve been working strategically with E3 team leadership for the past year, and have accepted the invitation to return and work with two back-to-back mission campaigns in early August. And while I’ll be working with teams who GO, I need to build a team who will SEND. A sending team is committed to prayer before, during and after the campaign. I humbly request your prayers for this important and strategic trip.
Secondly, a sending team can also help give financially. The total cost of both trips is $4000, and I’ve already contributed some of my own money to the mission. The balance is due June 15, and I’m praying that God would bring sending partners who will pray and can help with the remaining cost. Please see visit my sponsor page to help.
Thank you for prayerfully considering this request to join my sending team. Together, and through faith, we can anticipate the movement of the Lord and trust that His arm is not too short to save the lost, nor His ear too dull to hear their call—and our prayers. Thank you for praying for people like Glenda.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. – Isaiah 59:1
April 11th, 2011 at 5:01 PM
I went on a missions trip to Ukraine in 1997. I knew as I was reading your post that you were in that part of the world from your description of Glenda’s reaction to your presentation of Christ. So many of th older people believed as they were taught in the Orthodox church but have no personal relationship. Their life in the darkness of communism still lingers in their spirits and minds even as the light of Christ has seeped into the culture. I would love to return there myself or give $ so you can go but as I can’t at this time I will certainly support you in prayer.
April 11th, 2011 at 5:50 PM
Yes, you’re right. It is sad how they are “in the church” but still veiled in darkness. I’ll be sharing more stories of our 2010 trip in the upcoming weeks–these have happier endings. There is hope; prayer is the key to open all these doors. I’m grateful you’re partnering in this way. May God multiply the fervent prayers of the Saints!