When we planned our trip to this place, the government began to close orphanages to Christians. Still, God made a way and we were able to do 2 shows for orphans yesterday. Even better, they gave us total freedom to share with the children. We could even pray with them.
At the first program, so many children called on Jesus to save them. It sounded like the whole room was praying. We were thrilled. Surely, this is the direct result of so many of you faithfully praying!
The teachers were even happy and thanked us profusely for coming. They also thanked us at the second show and gave me flowers. The guard at the second show made excuses to stay in the room and listened to the entire program. When we left, he was so happy that he kissed my hand.
Many children at the second show also prayed, but for them it was more difficult. As the children prayed, others laughed at them. I was leading the prayer so I had the children ask God to give them courage. The Father was faithful and gave the children the courage to finish their prayer. So many trusted in Jesus!
What an awesome day! The pastor who scheduled the event was especially excited. He said: “I did not know that you were any good. If I had known you were so good, I would have invited you to the church.” It is really hard to know what to say after such a statement. God continues to make us humble.
We worshipped on Sunday in a place where people were forbidden this pleasure for over 70 years. It was a wonderful time of fellowship for us, but I could not stop thinking about how incredible it was that we should be in this place. I have never imagined such a privilege! As always, I see the Father’s kindness to us.
They gave our team about half of the worship service. At their request, we did a short puppet program for the children and invited them to pray with us. I honestly think that the adults enjoyed the story of Jonah as much as the children. More, the pastor felt that children’s program was a good way to introduce the 10 non-believers in the crowd to the simple truths of the Gospel.
Following the team members testimonies, I gave a short missionary report, God graciously poured His spirit on my words and gave them life. Many in the church began to cry, including part of my puppet team. Even the translator was struggling as the Father took our stories and wrote His story on their hearts. Praise God!
Sam preached a fantastic sermon that many responded to as they shared with us after the service. He talked about real peace and encouraged everyone to see and love people as Jesus saw and loved people. I heard his words in my heart. I want to truly love people as Jesus sacrificially loved them. I usually can act correctly, but the petty thoughts what crowed my mind are sin. With all my heart, I want my life to be marked by greater love. I know the people who heard Sam’s sermon on Sunday were also challenged.
FUNNY THINGS… SPECIAL THINGS
1- A lady who spoke English came up to me on Sunday at church and said: “I like you so much. You are like a fairy in a fairy tale.” I love fairy tales, so I took this as a complement.
2- Our friend Edward bought “sallow” on Sunday. It is a square of pig fat that you slice and eat. I confess that this is a food I struggle to eat.
3- A translator friend told me on Sunday that she had a friend who loves to eat helicopters. When I looked at her in surprise, she said: “oh! I meant to say grass hoppers. I always confuse the words helicopter and grasshopper.” Now, that is funny!
4- Twice we have received big bouquets of lilacs as thank you gifts. I love flowers! Mike always had carnations on the table for me when I came back home. I always tell the children that God made flowers to remind them of His love.
5- After the service, a lady came to me and told me that I had a big heart! I want these words to be true. My constant prayer is that God give all of us a big heart. I especially want the Father to fill us with His unconditional love. Please pray for us!
6- Some people deal with difficulties with God’s grace. We are in another city for the day and noticed many broken windows in the church. The pastor smiled and said: “Yes, for a long time, every night, our windows were broken. The orthodox priest sent people to discourage us.” Obviously, the Christians are not discouraged. They walk with joy! I am so challenged, as I hope all of you are challenged. May those of you who enjoy freedom use the opportunities we have for the kingdom!
Tomorrow, we have 3 or 4 shows at a school. Many of the teachers there do not like us. Please pray that we will be able to do all of these programs. They will not allow me to pray with the children, but I can tell them how to pray. They do not understand the power of the Gospel. Pray!
Linda for the team