I just wanted to stop in and say hello! I haven’t been online much this summer but just wanted to write a quick note to say that I am looking forward to getting things going again here in the coming months! You have been in my thoughts and prayers!
Our time in the States, in God’s sovereignty, was extended beyond what we had originally anticipated, so our break here is also being extended perhaps longer than it would have.
Like many of you, we raise our own support for our ministry in Russia, and this summer we ended up needing to raise quite a bit more than we had expected, thus the delay. It has been a chance to grow in our faith through trial, but in the end, God has blessed us so incredibly. Yes, he has blessed us by providing the finances that we need, for which we are in awe and incredibly grateful, but it seems just as much that His plan has been to bless us through trial, thus testing the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Our forced absence has been a great reminder of the blessing that it is to be able to serve God in a place that we have grown to love so much and where God has grown us and shaped us so much over the years, both through joys and struggles. The thought came to me a number of times amidst this time of trial of how heartbroken I would be if I were never again to have the chance to serve God in Russia. God has called us there, but for how long? Only He truly knows! Life can be difficult in the places that each of us serve, but I really do believe that it is a great blessing to see God at work in these countries and cultures that He has created! None of us knows when we might unexpectedly need to move somewhere else, or be called back to the US by hardship, or illness, or political troubles, etc., so let’s not take this time or our ministries for granted! I am excited to get back to Russia to make the most of my time there, knowing that my days there are numbered, even though I myself have no idea what that number is. Have you ever considered how you might view your time and your ministry differently if you knew that this would be your last year/month/week??? This was a new thought to me, and it has really jarred me and caused me to think and pray!
I hope each of you are doing well! I can’t wait to hear from you more often once things get going here again!