Yesterday morning, I asked the Lord to do something that was beyond my imagination. Let me tell you how He answered. Our friends here had been before to a place we visited. They were not permitted to see but a few of children, only the ones who did not speak Russian. More, it was the children nap time and they were told that they could only speak to those who were awake. Everyone was asleep. Clearly, they were not wanted.
However, yesterday God gave us all of the children, their teachers, and their mothers! We were very careful with the sound effects we used because many children were mentally handicapped and loud sound frightened them. They loved the program and everyone laughed even better they listened. We told them about Jesus Christ and how they could know Him. When we finished, the teachers presented us with an official thank you letter! It was addressed to The Agape Puppet Charity. Becoming a non profit (a charity) has been a very wise decision, especially for this place. I am constantly asked if I am from a church. Remember that all this of people are Muslim, either nominal (by tradition) or observant (practice). Protestants are seeing as a cult that is to be feared, ignored, or ____________. It was such a wonder that all of this people were so happy hearing about Jesus death on the cross and how He rose from the dead so that we could be forgiven. It was also very good that we could tell them that we are from an American non profit (a charity).
Many of the adults were touched by the Bible stories and testimonies that they heard. One lady said in broke English, "so sweet. I wanted to cry." The gospel is so sweet! Wow! God gave us a great answer to my prayer.
Each day is more amazing than the day before. We went to a special school for handicapped children. Some had minor learning disabilities, others had a cerebral palsy, some were in wheelchairs and many struggle to walk. Sam and I have been in so many of these places across the old Soviet Union, but we have never seen one like this orphanage. It smelled nice, no one seemed to be afraid, the teachers and workers really cared about children, and all of the children had good, clean clothes. All were nominal Muslims.
Always we see God’s hands in ours steps. As many of you know, my right leg bothers me when I walk, a lot and it was bothering me. While the rest of the team toured the building, I sat in the auditorium and waited. Children began to come for the program and we talked. I used every Russian word that I had; they used all of their English words. I drew pictures for them, took their pictures and let them see themselves. We laughed together and became friends.
The teachers watched me and seemed to appreciate my effort even if my Russian is not so good. So, by the time program started, everyone was ready to listen. God poured His spirit on the show. Afterwards, the children thanked us by singing. They sang a song that broke my heart. They sang a song about the beauty of a mother’s love and they live in an orphanage. Most have parents and are able to go home on the weekend.
The teachers and the director stayed after the program. They were amazed at all of our testimonies. They kept looking for a way to dismiss the truth about Jesus that we were sharing. By God’s grace He gave us the answers that they craved. All of them had tears in their eyes. Pray for these Muslims ladies to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Pray for our last day in Chelny.
Sam Shaw & Assistant Director
Silvana Simioni Shaw