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Lost Ballerina

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)

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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

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Genuine Salvation (Revival – Day 1)

Genuine Salvation

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)

Word Study:

  • man (anyone)
  • in (fixed position in place, time or state)
  • Christ (Messiah)
  • new (fresh)
  • creature (a creation of God)
  • old (having existed for a very long time)
  • behold (see)
  • things (all things in their totality but also each thing within that totality)
  • become (to form; to be made)
  • new (to renew and dedicate into a qualitatively new use)

When we finally choose to let go of the old there stands genuine repentance.  What choice!  And the old is replaced by a newness, a freshness which is regenerative in the mercy and grace of Christ.  What comfort!  In unpacking some of these words, I was intrigued by the word “in.”  Here we see a Greek translation which means fixed, and fixed in place, time and state, reminding us that when we are in Christ, we are permanently His.  What promise!  But our Salvation is not merely fixed in a physical form, it is fixed for a purpose, for God’s use and for His good purpose.

This verse shows us that it is not enough to merely believe, but to also practice the belief and live out our faith as one who stands ready for the work of the Lord.  There is no such thing as stagnation in the spiritual life.  If one is not moving forward with God, then he is subject to temptation and evil.  Revival begins with salvation, but it is also the daily living IN and FOR our Father.  It is regenerative and fresh, leading us as His dear children in the work of reconciliation of His people and restoration of the Kingdom until Heaven and earth meet.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me a life which is daily new and fresh in your mercy and grace. Thank you for this precious salvation.  Make me ready for your good work, Lord, in sharing your truth with others and encouraging the lost to know you as their Lord and Savior.  Help me to daily spend time with you, building on your love and truth so that I may not falter, so that I may be an encourager to the brethren, spurring them on to your good work.  Keep me free from evil temptation and fill my heart with joy when there are trails so that I may live humbly and be ready to serve you in all my days.  -Amen