Our village, Rzhischiv, was built around a wide inlet along the Dnieper River. This cove was forged between two incredibly large rolling hills. Over time the river has steadily cut away at the once majestic mounds and exposed its clay body to the harsh and ever changing elements. For the tourist and wedding party, seeking to capture the most exquisite photos of the area, these scalpeled (my own word) hills provide the perfect vista of the spectacular Dnieper. This great river runs all the way through Ukraine from top to bottom. It is deep enough to have scheduled overnight passenger ferries from Kiev, located in the center of the country, right down to Odessa, at the coastal shores of the Black sea in the south.
I’ve said all this to actually bring you to the moral of the story. Jesus alone said, “He is the resurrection and the life,” and it is always amazing to me how He dispenses life at His own unique time. Noline and I were in Warsaw, recently. We were invited to stay at the Nigerian Ambassador’s official residence. We were also meeting Bettina there, as she was beginning her vacation. To our delight we were picked up in a chauffeur driven black Mercedes. Our bags were wheeled to the car and the doors were opened and closed for us. I thought to myself, “I could get used to this.” Our Ambassador and host is a strong believer and staying in her home was one of our great delights. I have exhorted her to write a book, “Ambassador for Christ.” She has incredible stories of those she has met and witnessed too, in her many years representing her country abroad.
|Sergey and Lena|
It has taken me over a year to learn how to pronounce Rzhishchiv. I have had to clinch my teeth while speaking through the corner of my mouth in order to make a feeble attempt at this word. I still don’t have it down pat, but it does produce a welcoming smile from the locals when I try to say it. I have noticed a slight and subtle gleeful pride exhibited, when they politely correct my butchered enunciation. I am proud of them being proud of their town’s name. It’s how it should be.
|Buster's first introduction to swimming. Out like a shot!|
|Giving Buster some welcomed encouragement.|
|In the 'Old City' of Warsaw.|
After preaching in a local church on Sunday, the pastor, his wife and a group of intimate friends came over for a dinner party, hosted at the residence on Monday evening. Among these special guests was a young engaged couple. I asked everyone if I could share a short twenty minute teaching during desert. (How could they turn me down? Right!) As I opened up the scriptures I noticed that this young couple was focused intently on the teaching. Abruptly, at the close they stood up intending to leave as a prearranged ride was waiting for them. The Ambassador, accustomed to exercising great authority told them to sit down and not to leave until I had prayed for them. I simply thought they wanted a ‘blessing’ on their future life together. That is when the Ambassador revealed the young lady was not a Christian and her fiancé was not walking with the Lord.
|They see eye to eye on most things!|
I think there is something of a test which comes to all of us. Are we willing to obey the voice of the Lord for one person? In this case it was two. I do not know what will come from this very powerful weekend in Poland; but then again, it was Jesus, who said; “I am the resurrection and the life” and not us. If a miserable Blackberry can come back to life and give us joy, how much more joy is there in heaven when two lives come into eternal life?
We are off to the States tomorrow the 10th to visit with our other two children and their wonderful spouses and very excited children. My next blog will be Stateside.