Madina is Uzbek. She sits on the bridge every morning waiting for someone to see her. God drew my eyes to her as we walked to a breakfast meeting with out friend Misha, a Pastor. I looked at her, prayed for her, and continued to stare back at her as we walked away. Her small child was stretched across her lap. She stared into my eyes and I felt her pain. Honestly, we see many beggars as we travel, but I knew the Father was speaking to us about this lady.
After breakfast, we went to the grocery store and bought bread, cheese, fruit, sliced meatÂ other simple foods. Then, we sent our Ukrainian friends and Tatar friend to give her the food and tell her about Jesus. She was overwhelmed. She said, "No one every stops. No one ever took care of me like this." She promised to pray to Allah for us.
Our friend Oleg told us that "you could feel her gratitude pouring out of her." Sam, Silvana and I watched from a distance because we thought that since she spoke Russian, it would be easier for her to talk with them.
Before they took the gift, Oksana and I talked, planning how to share with her. Oksana was very wise and loving as she told her that God sees her. He knows her needs! She explained that we were Christians and that God wanted to give her more than bread. God wanted her to know that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be her Savior.
Please pray for Madina to come to faith. We are arranging for different Christian friends to visit her. I expect to see her in heaven someday! PleaseÂ let each of us remember Madina’s story and ask the Father to give us His eyes. I wonder who I am walking past each day.
Blessings, Legends, and Facts
1 At another church show, we were allowed to pray and heard the children calling on Jesus to save them.
2 There are phone numbers written as graffiti on the walls of the apartment buildings around us. The word "sex" is beside the number. This is a common way for prostitutes to advertise. Prostitution is a big problem here, resulting in so many broken lives. Abortion is used in many parts of Russia as birth control. Only Jesus can heal all of these broken hearts. Pray for Kazan! Pray for Russia!
3 We visited and orphanage outside the city and shared with their children. To everyone’s surprise, most of the workers came and listened to the Gospel. This orphanage was like so many others that we have been in through the years. It smelled, the children were not cared for well, and many of the workers never smiled. These children’s lives will change if Jesus changes the workers hearts. Please pray for this place!
4 The Tatar homes are beautifully crafted of logs, but receive no paint. Only the windows are painted, either blue or green, and beautifully decorated.
5 Tatar Christian’s are sometimes arrested as they go door to door sharing Christ. Legally, it is permitted, but the law is not always respected. They are released after a few hours or days.
6 Sunday morning, we did a street show in the worst area for gangs in the city. A huge crowd filled the playground and more people listened from their windows or from a safe distance. After the show, many adults thanked me for what had been done for their children. How sweet to be thanked by Muslims when you tell them about Jesus Christ and their need for Him!
7 We played tourist one afternoon after we finished our shows. We saw the Kremlin, the seat of power for Tatarstan. In side its walls is the only Mosque in a Kremlin in Russia.
8 In Russian, a babushka is a grandmother. After our visit to the Kremlin, we went to an amusement park. For only a few Rubles (Russian money), we rode a giant Ferris wheel that gave us and amazing view of Kazan and the Volga river. We also enjoyed a roller coaster, a giant swing ride that made me feel very green, and ice cream and popcorn. I was 30 years older than anyone else I saw at the park. Oleg laughed because people saw me and were pointing at me in shock. I had a wonderful time! It was Mother’s day and I was sad to be without Josh, Teressa, Jill, Matt and all the grandchildren. However, it was very sweet to be with friends that love me and treat me like family! Oleg and Oksana even brought me a beautiful yellow and pink rose. The Father is so kind to me!
9 There is a legend told here about a tower inside the Kremlin walls. So many, many years ago, Ivan the Terrible besieged this fortress and conquered it. He demanded that a certain Tatar Princess marry him. She agreed conditional that in 7 days, he build a 7 story tower for her, to prove his sincerity. The tower was finished and she climbed to the top. Determined not to marry Ivan, she jumped to her death. This is a very famous Tatar legend.
Only 1 day remains here for us to share with the children and finish training the Kazan team. Please ask the Father to bless these last hours with a great outpouring of His Spirit.
Sam Shaw & Assistant Director
Silvana Simioni Shaw